John Yeomans farms 89ha
(220 acres) of mixed hill
and upland near Newtown in
mid-Wales. The farm is split
between hill and upland,
with the hill land in two
blocks running up to 426m
(1400ft). It is stocked
with 70 suckler cows,
including some Limousins
and 540 breeding sheep,
WE RECENTLY had a visit from the RSPB, which is working with producers in Wales to survey farmland birds and the population spread.
It was interesting walking with Reg, who recognised the calls before the birds came into sight.
The next day I was topping thistles on the hill and saw a red kite, only the second time I have seen one here. Perhaps if I hadnt been looking at it I would have missed the stone that broke the knife holder in half. I have not found the missing half yet, but await strange stories of decapitated ramblers.
The next day we were silaging, so of course the hydraulic pump went on our tractor. Our harvest is now finished although it was exposed to a 0.5cm (0.25in) monsoon for five minutes, according to our rain gauge.
We bottled out of making hay seven days after cutting and went for round bale silage. The pit looks pretty full, so I think we should get away without needing to buy any bulk feed – famous last words.
My mother in-law was playing football with our son Jack and took a Rivaldo-style dive, unfortunately breaking her arm in three places. We could not move her and rang the ambulance. Luckily, we had our OS grid reference by the phone, thanks to the Powys Farm Accident Reduction Project, saving the emergency services so much time.
We have just bought some OP dip – £225 for five litres. The New Zealand equivalent was about £50 for five litres in 1999, but was taken off the market due to lack of interest. I never thought we would need a loan to dip sheep.
The MOD contacted us recently for permission to use our ground on training exercises. As my mate Bryn says, if we move anything on to the farm we are shut down for 20 days, yet they can move from farm to farm over a large area. *
The MOD has gained permission to exercise on several farms in John Yeomans area. Yet stock movements are still restricted by the 20-day standstill – double standards, he believes.