James Powell:'Lamb prices had held strong but are on the way down a little too sharply'

THE days are slowly drawing in and, as summer begins to bow out for another year, there is still a healthy warmth in the air and the soil temperature is above 10degC, so grass is still growing nicely.


The newest leys are getting ahead of the remaining finishing lambs, providing a good base to turn ewes on to ahead of going to the rams, while lambs have moved to the next paddock.


Lamb prices have held strong but are on the way down a little too sharply for any sort of security, making for another uncertain financial year.


It has been a manic six weeks with Rachel and myself busy on two separate projects off farm, mostly meaning our three sons have spent their summer holidays being busy, helping out laying patios, landscaping gardens, weighing lambs, as well as painting walls and furniture.


Somehow, Caleb, the youngest at two, always seemed to be a different colour at the end of the day, be it dirt or by being covered head-to-toe in paint.


No doubt they are keen to get back to school and nursery next week to slow the pace a little.


Nevertheless, I shall miss their company round me all day as it has been a brilliant summer of adventure and we have all learned a lot about companionship and, dare I say it, patience.


Moving on, 10 weeks have passed since Brexit and the world is still turning; it is not the post-apocalyptic world of anarchy just yet. In fact, the public are a little less anxious, with interest rates now just a quarter of a percent, with talk of another drop.


Regardless of what is to come in policy-making and future agricultural exports, the public have begun to show signs of national pride and are requesting British farmed produce. British morale is on a high.


However, lamb consumption is almost a quarter of its nearest competitor, beef, and still falling.


I think taking advantage of this patriotism and pushing sheepmeat as the greener and tastier form of protein would be a big help and boost farming morale.

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