Unwelcome visitors on UTV’s Rare Breed

James McKee, from Comber, Co Down
James McKee, from Comber, Co Down

Some welcome and unwelcome visitors feature in this week’s Rare Breed – A Farming Year which continues on Tuesday (21st February) at 7.30pm on UTV.

It’s June and near Templepatrick, Co. Antrim, George Bingham is taking time out to be a tour guide for a group of young American farmers.

George says: “When farmers are on holiday they like to visit other farms because it’s an opportunity to see different ways of doing things. You can get different ideas and adapt it to your farming system. When I was developing my business I travelled around different farms in other countries too, in business that is very unique to show a competitor around – but that’s how farming works.”

Near Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, Chris Johnston is flushing his cattle for embryos. Chris spotted an increase in demand for flushing embryos so he trained in England to offer the service to other farmers.

He explains: “I’ve injected this female around a week ago to make her super ovulate producing extra eggs to get a bank of embryos. This way I can either sell the embryos or keep them for my own recipient. Flushing has provided me with an extra advantage for my scanning business too, giving me a further depth to it all.”

Chris examines the flush to grade the embryos on how well they are fertilised or unfertilised.

Meanwhile, near Ballyclare in Co. Antrim, it’s a critical month for Michael Robson’s breeding plans on the farm. He says: “Generally you want strong female lines, in our farm we haven’t bought a female in over 20 years.”

In Comber, Co. Down the June weather is causing a headache for James McKee. He is trying to get rid of some unwelcome visitors. He explains: “We’re having a slight problem at the moment with the humidity and high temperatures causing an outbreak of the Diamondback moth. They would eat all the green leaves leaving us with just stock which can ruin the crop completely. My job now is tending to the crop, looking after it and caring for it.”

UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, which is sponsored by Dale Farm. Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Tuesday (21st February) at 7.30pm on UTV.