Charlie Armstrong celebrates SFP cheque

Thankfully someone at Rural Payments Agency bought new batteries for their calculator. We have now been paid our Single Farm Payment without any deductions.

Filling in the new Upland Organic Entry Level Scheme is now complete with a few spare points. But this is not as not as many as I would have liked, but with half the farm still in as old Countryside Stewardship Scheme it’s difficult to get enough points.

A water problem at one farm recently meant we had to turn cattle outside. One day turned into three weeks and now I daren’t fetch them back inside due to health reasons, such as for pneumonia. One cow got into the neighbours garden and they phoned to say “it’s on the road now and you’ll easily find it, as it’s got our solar powered garden lights around its neck.” Obviously the light was so good it found the hole in the fence and joined its mates discarding the lights on the way.

Lambing is going better now after the typical problems at the start. All lean ewes and triplets are now feasting themselves on 18% organic cobs, costing a small fortune. I should maybe give the RPA batteries to the feed merchant.

So far the weather has been good, but even so every lamb has left the sheds/polytunnels wearing a plastic jacket; they only cost 12p and on a cold wet night it’s the difference between life and death.

Most of our muck is now spread and silage fields are rolled. I am hoping to cut silage at the beginning of May.