As usual at this time of year, time seems to go nowhere and before we know it, the six-week summer school holidays have passed and we find ourselves desperately trying to fit a day in with the children before the wife issues divorce papers.

It is normally during this day out that I become horrified at the cost of things out in the big wide world. The shocker for this year was a bottle of water at 99p for 500ml. Water is one of life’s essences which cannot be skimmed, or be used to fortify many foodstuffs and it has a higher price than milk. And the funny thing is people pay it. However, even more perplexing is the fact it can be obtained for free. This leads me to believe that it is all down to marketing.

Having got over my water shock, and with not much of a window of opportunity with weather, I decided it was time to get rid of Manor Farm’s Mount Everest (three years’ worth of farmyard manure). We have reseeded 4.8ha, continuing with our grassland improvements. After “Everest” had been moved to the reseeding I worked out that the percentage of farmyard manure for every hectare was such that definitely no fertiliser was required. I spent the rest of the day equating the value of that into straw, which is what I could have traded it for down dale. I have a mate who would have gladly traded it, but he had lost the keys to his safe.

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, and used to make real Wensleydale cheese.

Read more

Read more articles from Adrian Harrison

Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers