Will Case farms 300ha (750 acres) in partnership with brother Simon and parents William and Margaret at Ulverston, Cumbria. Land is divided between Plumpton Cottage Farm and Robbs Water Farm, Barrow-in-Furness. They farm 1,000 lowland ewes, 90 pedigree Texel ewes, 65 Salers suckler cows, fatten 150 store cattle, 12,000 free-range laying hens and 100 dairy cows milked by robots.
As farmers we are rarely happy with the weather, but as I write this is one of those rare times.
Things are finally drying up. The temperature, whisper it quietly, could be described as warm and the sun is in the sky.
Nothing is better than the sun breaking out in May, with cattle turned out and the shackles of winter thrown off. It gives you a spring in your step and let us hope it lasts.
The good weather has allowed us to mow the first cut at Robbs Water and the recent warmth has allowed the grass to catch up from the cold spring and we are cutting on schedule. Nature can be forgiving at times and the crop looks good, yet it was hard to imagine we would be at this stage three weeks ago.
The final sheep has lambed and now we are into calving our Salers cows. The Charolais bull has been used on all our cows and is producing some cracking calves. The cows are carrying more condition than I would have liked, but, despite that, they are calving outdoors unassisted, apart from the odd exception. They have been a little slow to start this year, but things are getting going now.
Land drains have been a real focus this month. We have been jetting drains on our low lying land to try and dry things up. In most cases the jetter has run along freely as the tiles are in good order but, frustratingly it is the soil above which is compacted and will not allow the land to drain.
Subsoiling is the obvious solution but the windows of opportunity to do it seem few and far between. Getting the soil in the correct condition is great in theory but harder in reality. We will have to manage our way around climate change and whatever else is thrown at us.
I worked my way through the Defra Health and Harmony consultation. Like everyone else who responded, I hope the views of the farming industry are taken on board. Many groups and activists will have used the consultation to influence farm policy and further their own agendas.
I cannot help feel it is a good thing for farming we command so much attention. We needed to make the positive case for UK agriculture as we move into the post-Brexit era. A productive, profitable farming industry is the only way to deliver the public goods Government wants. With a joined up approach, British farmers can deliver a sustainable future for food, farming and the countryside