Livestock

Fears for feed availability

Saturday 20 October 2012 09:00

Having looked at the article I wrote last October, the same topic has cropped up this month.

In fact, I could insert the milk price quote from last year to this piece and it be would be bang-on. It’s funny that the “free market” always moves up in October, isn’t it?

We have now brought the cows inside for winter, and although the silage crop looked ample when taken, doubts have now set in over whether it will be enough.

Intakes in the wet crop are huge and it is going back faster than I would like, with alternative feeds in short supply and not available.

I think we are in for an interesting winter in terms of feed availability and, most importantly, we could be on the verge of a huge milk shortage.

I understand that our not-too-far-off neighbours the other side of the Pennines have had a horrendous summer in terms of rain.

The ice cream is now just starting to take off in October. We thought starting the selling process in the autumn would give us ample time to get our processes into shape ready for summer.

We are so glad we did this as we are now manufacturing two nights a week based purely on local interest and sales, which may lead to only selling the product actually in Wensleydale.

The wife actually said she was impressed with me this week. Compliments from her are not given lightly, but as I had milked cows, installed a log burning stove and made ice cream, I thought perhaps I deserved it.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers, with milk sold to Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes

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