In a typical year, I would usually be about to fly to Germany to visit our regular supplier of in-calf Holstein heifers. However, with Brexit still unresolved, I’ve made the decision to purchase them early and they’ll arrive this week.
Although the EU has now given the UK government a short extension, at the time there was no clarity from the government of the state of play after the 29 March, so we flew to Germany a couple of weeks earlier than usual, arriving on the 15 March.
For us, the thought of the cattle stuck at the ports waiting to get through customs was not worth considering, so I’m pleased we’ll have the heifers here before the Brexit deadline.
Our payment strategy has also changed slightly this year. Usually we would transfer the money directly, as the exchange rate has always been relatively steady. However, this year I’ve purchased the euros beforehand.
With the potential for the exchange rate to change at the drop of a hat, I at least know that we are in control of the final price – I’m hoping I’ve made the right call.
The new cows arriving is always the sign that spring is well and truly here, and our focus then turns to building up our forage stocks. At least we can rely on the farming calendar to bring us continuity.
This article is part of a ‘Disease? Not On My Farm!’ series which showcases proactive beef and dairy farmers taking pride in their robust herd health and disease management approach.