Livestock Farmer Focus: Jolyon Higgs is worried about lack of water

What a difference a month makes. The sheds are nearly empty of livestock and we have grass. Ewes are being docked and feet trimmed.

We had a digger here for a few days and rotten gateposts have been replaced, a few drains repaired and the foot bathing facilities upgraded.

Rainfall has been low and any prolonged drought is a worry on Cwmfron, which is a dry farm with no mains water. I have, therefore, improved the water storage and drinking troughs on the hill.

A party of farmers from the Peak District visited recently. Alex and I enjoyed showing them around the farm on a beautiful May evening.

Walking, as opposed to riding the quad bike around the farm is always rewarding as you see things in a different light and often learn something new. I was pleased to see patches of bluebells growing where they have not been seen before. They also visited several other farms in the area and spent Monday at Welshpool livestock market.

On Gower, the dry hoggs have been shorn and the stock are now protected against bluetongue. Silage crops are ready. Both corn and grass have received more nitrogen than usual this year to counter the effects of the cold winter and poor spring.

The Countryside Council for Wales has been reviewing our management of the cliffs in Gower. To control rough grasses we have been allowed to graze ponies. This will be a new experience. At Cwmfron, hedges planted over the past five years are really at their best at this time of year. We have seen a pair of Tawny owl chicks in mature trees and no doubt they are being fed voles and mice caught along hedgerow corridors.

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