It’s easy to spot a farmer out and about when in their working clothes. Items like boots or wellies, mud splattered clothes, sitting in a tractor or jeep, the working dog alongside, bulging pockets (not with money but with nuts, bolts, baler twine, keys, receipts and a battered cheque book) and perhaps even the whiff of slurry or silage all tend to give it away without having to look too closely. But what about when they are dressed up and [...]
I got such a large response to this post that I’ve written an update (it’s evidently a huge problem) so please scroll to the bottom of the post if you wish to read it. This post was written to reassure any farmer experiencing calves with bloat, that you are not the only one (despite what the sales rep might be telling you) and although obviously hygiene is paramount and should be the first thing to be checked, the fault may [...]
Do people amble and relax and meander as much as they used to? Do we meander and daydream and stare into space as much as we should? Mobile phones are great but they mean we are never bored, not bored enough to daydream. I know that if there’s a ten-minute wait when I’m collecting my teenagers that I spend the few minutes checking twitter or sending an email or making a phone call or reading an article. If I’m waiting for them [...]
Without wanting to sound too morose and, dare I say it, a ‘stereotypically grumpy farmer’, it has been a tough year for farmers this year. Between the late, very wet, very cold spring which meant winter extended into May, and then a drought during the summer, it’s been a year that involved a lot of extra work as we were still doing winter work for weeks during the heatwave. Without even thinking about the bank balance, a lot of farmers [...]
From the Frying Pan into the Fire
April 2018 was a tough month. Every week, we hoped that the rain would stop and each week, the weather forecasters dashed our hopes as fields remained waterlogged, grass grew slowly and livestock stayed indoors eating the last of the winter fodder. Many farmers, mostly those on drier land and accustomed to having their livestock out in February and March, ran out of fodder and had to purchase more.
The cows were indoors for months [...]