Phil Latham: 'The good news is the milk price is increasing'

dairyDairy Farmer

I think historians will look back on this year and wonder what on earth happened to persuade so many to voters to change the course of their country’s politics.


I think the well-off have had it too good for too long and became complacent. The poorly paid have been forgotten and the benefits of globalisation shared inequitably which has created a level of dissatisfaction which has been exploited by politicians and business people to meet their own ends.


So I look forward to 2017 and the changes it will bring with the same anticipation I had when I bungee-jumped into Skippers Canyon in New Zealand many years ago. Back then I knew I had a safety rope tied to my legs, I just had to overcome my fears and take the leap.


This time I have been pushed off by the enthusiasm of others and I have no idea whether or not there is a rope. It is certainly disorientating but I guess it is exciting too.


I had an office clear-out last week, years of records which seemed so vital have gone up in smoke, a rather sad end to many files diligently kept.


Within them were endless reports on Common Agricultural Policy and its reform, quota rules and Defra policy changes and I guess this year is just a continuation of a theme. Life changes, we move on and we must adapt, as we have before.


We have finished our first silage clamp, which means the moveable cow cubicles can be repositioned and the last of the milkers can come inside, which will be a relief. With a bit of luck we will be out sometime in February and the grazing calendar will start again.


Milk from forage has risen as we have gone from second cut to first, which is great news. We will have to have better tactics next year, weather permitting.


There is always a ‘yin and yang’ to life. Last year I received two milk price drop letters in the days before Christmas Eve and this year I have just had notice a key member of Kelsall Hill’s team is leaving.


The good news is the milk price is increasing and the ‘elf on a shelf’ has returned, much to the delight of Daisy and Sam who tour the house each morning looking to see where he’s popped up. It is magical.


I wish you all a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.

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