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In your field: Ian Garnett - 'We have been blessed with a clear TB test this time'

Temperatures have started to drop and grass growth is slowing fast, as we would expect at this time of year.

Heifers are doing their final grazing rounds, clearing residuals and keeping the cost of production down and this week has seen lots of activity on farm rounding up these heifers for branding and housing.

 

This work should continue for the next couple of weeks.

 

We use branding as a marker to help us recognise which of the breeding stock are fully vaccinated and therefore now on the herd programme.

 

It may seem low-tech, but it works for us.

 

With all year-round calving, keeping up with worming and vaccinations can be a bit of a challenge, especially as the youngstock often interchange their grazing paddocks.

 

Autumn means TB testing in the edge area here in Cheshire (as does spring) and we have fortunately been blessed with a clear test this time.

 

We are appreciative of the Government for allowing wildlife control in the edge area, although this comes at the cost of increased testing.

 

Likewise we are grateful to the people on the ground who make it all happen as I see there has been a reduction in the numbers of cattle slaughtered for TB in the English edge area over the last 12 months of 27 per cent.

 

Hopefully this should lead to healthier wildlife and continued numbers of clear tests going forward.


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Christmas will soon be upon us and the crop of turkeys is looking well.

 

There is still a fear within the industry that turkey orders are likely to be different from the established patterns of previous years.

 

Our Christmas crop arrived late summer after we had already reduced our orders for the large ones.

 

However, this was before the ‘rule of six’ came into force and I am concerned the orders going forward could be substantially different again.

 

All of this will challenge our creative thinking to the limit.

 

I was encouraged to see the Trade and Agriculture Commission is now on a full statutory footing and applaud all those who did their bit to raise awareness of how important protecting British farming standards is.

 

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is such an important issue, with British agriculture being a world leader in driving down the use of antibiotics in our industry.

 

I would encourage any policymakers to be mindful of the gains we have made in this country and do their
utmost not to trade these away, potentially putting human health at risk.

 

A difficult maize harvest, TB testing, shed building and turkey order concerns have challenged us.

 

But these pale into insignificance compared to trying to set up a Facebook page for the business. I knew I should have asked my five-year-old instead.

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