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In your field: Ian Garnett - 'Uncertainty is bad for business, whether it is turkeys or dairy cows'

Each morning’s tense debate of whether my little one can consume the advent calendar chocolate before or after breakfast signifies both that Christmas is on its way and, in our case, that it’s turkey time.

The birds have grown well and we are pleased with them. In fact, the only concern the turkeys have given us this year with was whether we would be able to sell them all for fear of Christmas being cancelled due to Covid-19.

 

So far it’s looking quite the opposite as orders have steadily come in, particularly for the smaller birds. I don’t wish to jinx things any further, but we are definitely hoping our turkey season continues in this manner.

 

Prior to this month, we had been concerned as to whether our Polish team members would be able to come over to help with the birds, due to potential Covid-19 travel restrictions.

 

Fortunately, they have been allowed to travel so this year it is business as usual. We have a family team who have been coming for many years to join a couple of their friends already here for the mainstay dairy work.

 

We feel very fortunate not having to start from scratch each year with finding and training new helpers.


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Recent wet weather has seen the last of the heifers coming in which is earlier than usual. The shed building project continues apace and we will be relieved when it is completed to allow a bit more breathing space.

 

The heifers would usually come in after the turkeys have vacated the space but we are fortunate to have a bit of flexibility this year, so have decided to prevent them rotavating any grass leys, or worse still attempting a midnight ramble.

 

Brexit continues to frustrate us. Just how this could impact us in terms of workforce, dairy markets and indeed the wider agricultural markets seems very far away from being decided as I write, but who knows where we will be by the time this goes to print.

 

In my experience, businesses do not thrive on uncertainty.

 

We have had a number of occasions in this past year when unforeseen circumstances have made us even more thankful for the team we have here. This year everyone has really stepped up and powered through some tough challenges.

 

We are so very grateful for all their support in this difficult year and hope we, and you, can all have and happy Christmas and a healthy 2021.

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