James farms 180ha (450 acres) of uplands in Llanbadarn Fynydd, Powys.
Married to Rachel with three sons, James runs 1,000 ewes, mostly Aberfield crosses, plus a 50-head suckler herd.
An HCC scholar in 2014, he is involved with NFU Cymru’s Next Generation initiative and is passionate about rural affairs.
The rain dance worked and the heavens opened. Though like Boris Johnson’s performance as a Cabinet politician, after a few thunder showers and a day’s worth of intermittent rainfall, it turned and scarpered. Unlike Boris, however, those few showers have at least done some good.
The struggling aftermaths have at last turned green and are showing signs of recovery – but, if the forecast is anything to go by, we are in for a few more weeks of dry heat. My thoughts are with those farmers worse off, on drier land and who are feeling the effects of diminishing fodder and water.
It’s somewhat put into perspective when we see the effects of drought our Australian counterparts are going through in New South Wales. With just 99mm of rain this year, the harvests have failed and many thousands of livestock which aren’t dead are slowly dying as creeks dry up.
The Government has stepped in with funding and the wider public have set up charities, donating for fodder to be transported thousands of miles, along with vital supplies for devastated rural families. Elsewhere in neighbouring states, lamb sales have reached all-time-high prices as demand outstrips supply. The year 2018 truly is now etched in history for its bizarre weather globally.
The school holidays are upon us and the first week was spent enjoying the Royal Welsh Show which always seems to prosper, surprise and delight each year, basking in sunshine with a relaxed, ’finished harvest’ atmosphere.
The first draws of lambs have gone off, later than last year but at a similar price. It is dropping now, however, and we are feeding the early bunch of lambs which isn’t ideal on a falling trade.
Needs must and they should be away sooner for it, leaving what grass is available in autumn for the later-born lambs to grow on.
The Brexit confusion continues, with Nigel Farage taken to task on his radio show by a vet.
Farage’s ideology was for a post-EU Britain to import cheap food from Africa, admitting it would be substandard to our nation’s own animal welfare and food quality, undermining our need for vets and indeed farmers.
We are living in a mad world. The heat must have got to some.