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Will Case: 'If environmental work is being done, we must be paid'

June disappeared far too quickly.

I hit the big 4-0 this month and time passes faster than ever. I feel like age is just a number, but during a recent bit of trouble with an injury to my knee, Dad helpfully told me he started falling to bits when he turned 40.

 

I can report he is in good shape heading towards 70, so I’m not giving up hope just yet.

 

Shearing has been completed and the ewes are glad. Mark Fox and his team made it all look easy as we battled to keep sheep in front of them and wool out of their way. A day and a half had almost all of the ewes done.

 

Seven late lambing ewes were leftover which I sheared; enough to be enjoyable, just without the physio appointment. All lambs are treated with fly spray and hopefully we are protected for a while.

 

Second cut has been taken at Plumpton and it should be some good stuff. It was a very good crop which we somehow managed to squeeze into the pit. We decided to go for three cuts this year to improve silage quality and also to allow us to get some fog grass in front of lambs earlier.

 

We will cut 16 hectares (40 acres) of third cut and use 14ha (35 acres) to start fattening weaned lambs. We will draft off the bigger lambs from some batches to get them moving forward quicker.

 

Hopefully getting some quality forage in front of them earlier will save some concentrate costs later in the season.


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It has been with some relief that we have finally had notification that our Higher Level Stewardship payments will be made by the end of July. When the Government wants farmers to take part in schemes to improve and enhance the environment, there is trust required from both sides to make it happen.

 

If farmers are going to do the work they need to know they will be paid, otherwise it falls apart. If the boot was on the other foot I’m not sure how patient the Rural Payments Agency would be.

 

Talk of no-deal Brexit is back in the news again. I am still baffled as to why anyone thinks it will bring us any certainty. We will be left with more uncertainty while waiting to agree a trade deal with our closest and most important market, negotiating from a weakened position.

 

It is hard to look tough when you are flat on your backside.

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