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Young Farmer Focus: Calum Greer - 'It is an uncertain time in every sector'

Calum Greer, 23, milks 280 cows and fattens 200 beef cattle a year, as well as managing a flock of 400 breeding ewes. The home farm also grows about 48.5 hectares (120-acres) of cereals.

Dairy: Milking twice-a-day means the farm operates with two key members of staff alongside my brother, dad and myself on a rota system.

 

Recently, however, we have been having some staff issues – particularly after the Kinross Show dinner one Saturday night. By 5am the day after the show, none of our staff had turned up for their shift, resulting in a hungover family milking.

 

Looking to the future, this has really made me think that robots may be the way to go.

 

Just like buying a new tractor, there are plenty of options available in specification, size and output, but ultimately it all comes down to your dealer relationship and, most importantly, backup when the inevitable breakdowns occur.

 

One of my main focuses since joining the family business has been to improve the herd, aiming for a strong robust cow utilising both Holstein and Friesian genetics.

 

Through the increased use of sexed semen, we are trying to breed from the best cows/heifers while putting the bottom percentage to the Aberdeen-Angus bull.


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Sheep: Our sheep flock consists of buying in an additional 50-60 five crop Scottish Blackface every year and crossing them with Border Leicester rams.

 

However, this year even these good old girls from the hills were £10-15 dearer, but I suppose farmers from these areas need their share of the pie too.

 

Let us hope the sheep industry can continue its decent returns by the time these lambs are ready next year.

 

Future: It is a tough and uncertain time in every sector of the industry with margins as tight as ever, from our recent diesel filter issues to the constant militant pressure on us farmers from vegans and other pressure groups.

 

The recent BBC programme about meat has done nothing tohelp our case, and I feel we, as the British farming industry, should be highlighting the benefits our sustainable, quality systems havecompared to those shown in the very one-sided anti-meat programme.

 

YFC: As current chairman of Kinross JAC, it has been a busy year so far, with some of the highlights being coming third in the east area rally, our return exchange with Kilrea YFC and celebrating our 75th anniversary dinner dance.

 

Just as in the world of farming, there is never a dull moment and I hope that by the next anniversary we can look back on a successful period for British farmers.

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