As I write this article I am sitting in hospital, as one of the children has suspected appendicitis. I have nothing but praise for our NHS and its staff. All have been amazing. Hopefully a quick removal is in order and normality will return.
Well, so far the weather has been behaving itself. First cut silage yields would appear to be good in comparison to last year. The crops are starting to turn, and they look great. The sheep have been shorn and are feeling great about themselves. The lambs are growing well. The foal (who has yet to be named – I like the stable name Winky, but Zara is vehemently against this) is growing at a rate of knots and fingers crossed the mare is back in foal.
The lambs are growing at an extraordinary rate. The combine has been serviced and is ready for the off, the yards have been cleaned out and there is just the small task of second cut silage to finish.
The summer holidays are nearly here and the excitement begins. Our Tuesday trips to market with Ted to take calves and have breakfast are nearly at an end as the threat of full-time school is upon us. I wish them lots of luck with a feral child who’s farming obsessed. He’ll count to 100 easily if its cows or sheep, but he’ll give up if you show him the numbers. He appears to know all the correct language and the context in which to use it. We shall all really miss him when he starts school; he’s been my shadow and my soul mate for the past four and a half years. I’m not sure I am ready for the serious “Ted”.
I know farmers are always whingeing, but I honestly believe that the public really does think food is produced by the supermarkets. On several occasions of late I have overheard various conversations that imply the general public really has no concept of what goes into producing the food that ends up on their plate.
Since the restaurant trade has reopened, business would appear to be slow to get started. Most people are cautious of entertaining or going into public spaces. The UK beef industry has taken a slight downturn and an increase in cheap imports has been noticed. Does this mean that the UK restaurant trade is using imported meat?
It would appear that as long as the cost is cheap it doesn’t matter where the food comes from. The prime minister has defended the Australian trade deal that will allow even more cheap imports to enter the country. It would appear that the government would like to give the “Aussies” a tariff-free deal within the next 10 years. Will UK farmers be able to compete with huge Australian cattle ranches or the large volume of lamb from New Zealand?
There are complaints on the local Facebook page regarding tractor driving through the village for two days… two whole days? The fact that the farm was in situ hundreds of years before you purchased your new-build house seems to have been forgotten. Following a tractor down the road raises complaints of being made late to an appointment, but when a tractor drives past a house it’s going nearly 50 mph. Really? When a tractor is on a road it’s going too slowly but when it goes past your house it’s going far too fast? The keyboard warriors were out in force that day.
Any opportunity to gives farmers a “bashing” seems to be the norm these days. Bales are moved from the field as quickly as possible, and we hope to avoid inconveniencing anyone in the locality. Unfortunately it appears this is not always possible. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll never keep everyone happy.
Who knew it would be so difficult to search for a new pickup truck? Fergus needs to change his vehicle and has decided on a pickup. The search has been relentless and has yet to come to fruition. Nissan and Mitsubishi are moving their operations out of the Europe/UK market and shifting focus to China, the USA and Japan. New legislations in Europe and the UK regarding emissions and the political situation seem to make it unviable for them. It would appear Toyota are just hanging on in there for the moment and that leaves Isuzu and Ford. We have yet to find a battery powered pickup that can tow!
Hydrogen-powered tractors and vehicles are still in their infancy so perhaps in the next five years we will see progress. An average of 70 miles per gallon could be a vast improvement on the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles.
Until next time, stay safe.