James Powell: 'It is a job to fit farming into our busy social (media) lives'


The leaves are just starting to change colour and the mornings now have the moist chill of autumn in every breath.


A very wet Monday this week has altered the look of our wet, heaviest land and the cows are now starting to make a physical impression underfoot where they are walking en masse.


We cannot complain though as, until then, it had been mild and the grass has continued to grow and hold the lambs and ewes in fine fettle. The lambs, though handling well, are taking their time to get to adequate weights, which makes me question the quality of this abundant grass heading into autumn, and the change of weather will surely see this grass boom now tail off.


However, the cull ewes have gone, leaving the ewe flocks looking sharper and ready for the romance of the rams next month. The ewes are following after the lambs and cleaning up the swards, which is a lot cleaner finish and utilisation, and we are seeing little waste after the ewes have mopped up.


The breeding sheep sales are in full swing and every proud farmer gets swept up in the buzz of the auctions, the quest for top price, the necessity of purchasing cost-effectively and an excuse to geographically cross borders, and somewhat fashionably at present, cross breeds.


But I have noticed that it is, ultimately, the time of year regarded so highly by famers of a certain vintage as the year’s most social time, when they manage to get off-farm and interact with people in the sales. This seems to be getting further and further away from the youth of Tweeting, Facebooking, Snapchatting, Instagramming (or whatever’s been invented since) of today.


Nowadays, a single tweet could lead to a close bond formed, breeding stock sold on trust, farm tours in foreign countries, with people who have never met each other, and eating carrot cake together in the farmhouse kitchen.


It seems as once embraced, nowadays, it is a job to fit farming into our busy social (media) lives.

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