Preparations are well under way for the dreaded farm assurance inspection. Grumpy has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that all the boxes are adequately ticked. Nothing much has changed since last year but the standards have increased yet again! Year on year we find ourselves spending hour upon hour filling in paperwork for assurance schemes.

Everything must have a plan and be written down, signed by the vet and nothing is allowed to be in your head anymore. If it’s not written down you haven’t thought about it! I find that one of the most frustrating aspects of assurance schemes. How many of us write down everything we think of in a day. The definition of a parasite is “an organism that feeds off its host providing no apparent benefit to the host,” Grumpy seems to think the farm assurance industry falls into this category nicely.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe is the chairman of a certain farm assurance and no doubt has a very sizable income from it, probably greater than most farmers annual income, but the benefits from these schemes would appear hard to assess – they are just there, and in the case of dairy, compulsory. It seems it’s all about providing more and more for less, and where will that take us ultimately?

By the time you read this, the 15 May deadline for BPS may well have passed. There was a time, I am told, when the claim was submitted without outside assistance but for the last few years, such is its complexity that we have used advisors to help us in this task. How long I wonder before BPS start thinking along the lines of farm assurance.

It was decided earlier on in the year that a new mower was required for the forthcoming silage season. As the month of April ticked on there was more and more pressure applied to the dealer to pin down a delivery date of said machine. Its arrival was much anticipated and it duly arrived with much excitement. Sods law would then dictate that once on farm the wettest week for about a month arrived, still what was bad for the mower was invaluable for the maize which was sown a few days before the rains arrived. It’s nice when things work out like that! 

On a slightly cheerier note silage is now well under way and with the weather being relatively kind, the lambs and kids are growing fast. it won’t be long before the cycle starts again, it may not happen for our ram if it headbutts me anymore when I go to feed him…

Edward has started nursery and Grumpy is now on a no swear ban!