The Farm Year – Where Timing is Everything

Prolonged snow and ice in early 2023 made for a tough daily routine on the farm, with a sledge hammer required to break ice on water troughs each morning for many weeks. It also meant a challenging spring calving, with more calves than usual requiring help. But happily we now have a robust herd of Highland and crossbreed calves that flourished through summer.

Highland Cows in the snow at Rothiemurchus

Thankfully the weather improved enough that spring barley was sown in good time. However an extremely dry, hot June required more adjustments to timings, with the annual pit silage cut two weeks early. The remaining silage was cut and baled with time to spare, and with surplus bales remaining from 2022, there was plenty of time for general farm maintenance and fencing.

In June, Grant said goodbye to his right-hand man Kevin Ross, an integral part of
the estate for over 12 years who is already much missed. However Grant is being helped through the busy periods by Paul Whyte, a stalwart of Rothiemurchus’s maintenance team for 12 years, with vast experience on the farm.

Introducing “no fence collars” to the cattle this summer meant they could be
moved to Glen Einich for the first time in years. They have responded well to this exciting transition and you can read more on the Rothiemurchus blog.

No fence collars for cattle at Rothiemurchus

The annual spring barley harvest was completed in an impressive 9 days – although yields were slightly down due to fluctuating weather. Grant even drafted in his father as harvest tractor driver; initially sceptical of the new modern machines, he was soon converted by their aircon and comfy seats!

Harvest at Rothiemurchus Farm

Winter routine is now underway with all the cows home from summer grazing ahead of annual pregnancy scanning. Another busy winter lies ahead, with lots of feeding, fencing and general maintenance work until spring returns.