David Howard has a 41ha (102-acre) all-grass farm at Clitheroe, Lancashire. He milks 40 Holstein Friesian cows, runs 40 followers, and also carries 92 February-lambing Mule ewes, and finishes 15 Limousin crosses.
ONE observation I have noticed recently in connection with BSE and beef has been the prices charged in restaurants for steak and roast beef.
The beef-related meals are top of the price range. Yet when I visit the auction mart, I see the raw product down some 30%. I do think the retail industry should do its bit by reducing the selling price. There is some profit-taking going on and I am sure it would help if the price was reduced in the retail outlets to encourage an increase in sales.
Protein is causing me a problem, although I hope only a short term one. I dont mean protein in milk but in my silage.
I usually analyse my silage every fourth row of bales and at the moment I just happen to have three or four rows of high protein silage in the stack and I cant get at the silage with a lower protein just yet.
A few of the cows have come in with tender feet and one with a thick leg all in the last few days. I must confess I knew the problem might arise and yet somehow I gambled that it wouldnt. Third cut silage has been fed at night when the cows have been going out during the day and I have used all this silage a little earlier before I changed over on to a lower protein cake.
It hasnt taken long to start to cause problems. A lower protein cake should be delivered tomorrow and hopefully everything should start to correct itself in a few days.
On the social side, the local YFC held its golden jubilee celebration in mid-October and over 200 members and former members came to the dinner dance.
Two things struck me as worthy of a mention. Firstly, the memories that came flooding back: Five former members, starting with the first chairman back in 1946 and ending with a more recent one, described each decade that each individual had belonged to the YFC and portrayed the farming, village and social life in the Ribble Valley during the last 50 years.
From hand milking to parlours, working horses to tractors, pen and paper to calculator and computers and going to social events in the next village either walking or by bike.
Secondly, also present were husbands and wives of former members who had nothing previously to do with the farming industry or the YF movement. They commented how impressed they were with the organisation and the moulding of responsible citizens able to speak in public and to put themselves over to an audience. If only we could do this nationally, maybe our farming industry would be better understood.n
David Howard noticed that cows were coming in with tender feet. The problem was caused by high protein silage feed with high protein concentrate.