I think like all farmers in the UK, and especially those with cattle, we feel a bit beaten up by the anti-meat and dairy program that is currently circulating in political and social circles.
Almost every farmer I speak to is increasingly frustrated by the false information about emissions from the livestock sector, when it is already proven that milk production in the UK produces half of the average global emissions for every kilo of product.
We have a plentiful supply of rain unlike many other countries where specialty crops are grown for herbal diets here in the UK.
Farming is bad for coming together and having a voice and a position in situations like this. That has to change, and sooner rather than later, or a lot of wonderful little family businesses will be gone.
Over the past month, I have really focused on the costs of inputs, especially feed. We have already bought most of our feed forward, which reduces our exposure to the market now, but fuel has also increased, before even considering fertilizer for first cut silage.
We bought a load of 34.5% nitrogen fertilizer which should cover us for now, and then we’ll use the slurry as best we can to get the most out of our nitrogen on the farm.
Listening to Arla and Kite Consulting’s podcast last week, it looks like there is going to be a dairy shortage.
Australia is now a net importer and New Zealand will struggle to maintain production. Feed costs will not encourage milk production in the UK or the rest of Europe – milk prices are starting to rise.
The tups are now working with the sheep and so far they seem to be very busy. The ewes are in very good condition and I am very happy with them.
We sold the last of the pure Swaledales last month so we only have Highlander crossbred ewes in different stages of breeding to pure.
Now that we are far from the Swaledales, we have even managed to manage 100 ewes directly at the terminal this year. Hopefully the weather improves a bit for the rest of the tupping period, then a good scan result comes in February.