For those of you who remember the programme Bulls Eye there was always a “here’s what you could have won” for the runners up.


Sadly this is how the 2009 single farm payment statement makes me feel – “this is what you could have had before we applied the modulation”. The strange thing is the statement shows the total amount and makes no reference to the modulation.

As I’d forgotten this year’s levee, I decided to search the web, but could not locate the amount anywhere, not even on the RPA website. I resorted to calling a friend who informed me it was 19%, but realised that wasn’t quite correct because it gets taxed twice, once on issue and then again in your accounts.

Christmas is a distant memory, but while many enjoyed two weeks holiday, for farmers it meant two weeks of not being able to get animal feed or medical assistance without a major premium. We thought we had worked out the feed and bedding requirement for the Christmas period, but we ran out of feed the day before we were due another load. But, on the day of its arrival we had more snow, so a digging-out mission took place to enable safe delivery.

Our milk buyer arrived just before Christmas with a gift box of cheeses, always gratefully received. A small mention was made about the rift between liquid milk price and milk for cheese. I am sure this matter will be addressed again shortly as it is such an uneven playing field out there currently depending on who buys your milk and what it is used for.

On New Year’s Day six cows calved all at once which included a set of twins, premium medical assistance was required due to milk fever and an upside down calf. One can never plan enough for these events.