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James Powell: 'It is reassuring to hear the industry request support instead of handouts'

Even now, as we are approaching November, it is still pleasantly warm. Getting around the farm is a breeze, even on the wettest of fields, and it is also one of the most beautiful autumns in memory as the trees have held on to their changing leaves for longer due to the mild weather.

Even now, as we are approaching November, it is still pleasantly warm. Getting around the farm is a breeze, even on the wettest of fields, and it is also one of the most beautiful autumns in memory as the trees have held on to their changing leaves for longer due to the mild weather.

 

We have housed the heifers away from the bull and to get away from the bigger older cows who bully them from the forage fed outdoors.

 

They seem happier inside, with straw underneath them and very pleasant silage in front of them, albeit a silage analysis of an old fashioned grab and sniff method, having not been tested yet and proved otherwise by science.

 

The heifers are now 16 months old and have been with the bull since 14 months, which we are told is the most efficient method of productivity, but does require a lot more care as we struggle with the smaller calves we seem to be getting as a result, lacking growth rates overall.

 

However, Salers are very fertile and have no trouble getting back in-calf, and through to calving at 24 months she is a smaller framed cow that holds flesh, better suiting our climate in the uplands.

 

The terminal rams are now with the ewes but must be finding the mild weather rather too relaxing, being slow to cover the ewes. The lamb price is nowhere near where it should be, especially with the exchange rate, and I only hope it is a delay and soon the export gates will burst open.

 

I have had the great pleasure over the last month to be involved in meetings on future Welsh agricultural policy. It is reassuring to hear the industry overwhelmingly request support instead of handouts.

 

It is a huge time for everyone in the industry right now and I for one find it enthralling that things will change, and we hope for new opportunities.

 

This year will be known as a curve ball that no one could have called in the world of politics, and yet it could be worse, we could be voting for Trump or Clinton.

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