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In your field: Jon Stanley - 'A better quality of family life was the motivation to change the parlour'

Every week we follow the ups and downs of farmers around the Uk.

Well, we are in #Februdairy, the month when the dairy industry has had to defend and promote itself on social media in retaliation to militant vegan activists. I have been astonished by what has been written and published on social media. Fake news in the extreme.

 

While everyone is entitled to eat the food they choose and are entitled to their own opinions, it is hard to stomach when so called industry practices and welfare are being criticised through emotive language, lies and pictures, often based on systems from abroad.

 

While we could ignore these attacks on our industry, the danger is people who just use social media extensively may think these posts are actually true and factually correct. Some serious high level targeted promotion of the industry is desperately needed.

 

We have started calving with some early heifers at the end of January. Thankfully a small trickle, rather than the expected calving storm in mid-February. Our new milking parlour is nearing completion and I have been milking the first few fresh heifers in the crush with a mobile milking unit. This is something which I have not enjoyed, particularly the first few milkings, owing to the nature of a young heifer.

 

The new parlour will be a fantastic time saver and long overdue. I am looking forward to seeing the milk tanker coming to the farm again soon, for obvious milk cheque reasons. It has been nice to have time away from the daily routine of milking and I have caught up on sleep and had some nice time with the children. A better quality of family life was the motivation to change the parlour.

 

The lighter evenings are welcome and noticed. There is a sense of spring being round the corner, with a key change in the sound of the blackbirds singing and daffodil shoots appearing.

 

Unfortunately there does not seem to be any let up with the rainfall and I have never known our farm as wet at this time of year. At the moment it is still too wet to start our new cattle building but hopefully this can get underway when it finally does begin to dry up.

 

The grass covers which we carried over the winter for early turnout seem to be disappearing because of the wet weather or maybe by other means. We did have 300 of our neighbour’s squatting tack sheep which broke in for 24 hours and grazed off one of our reseeded fields.

 

Maybe the grass was greener?

 


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