A new arrival for the Ellis family

It’s a girl! Olivia Molly was born on the 21 June. Despite labour being a drawn-out affair, everyone is doing fine and the wait was well worth it.

As you can imagine, during this period tension was running high, and among many of the things that were stated, Sam mentioned that perhaps we need to have even more respect for our cows.

Cows are continuing to milk well, we are even wondering whether this is related to the borehole water so we are now sampling the mains water to compare the two.

Second cut was made in a small window of weather and fortunately a neighbour offered to help out when I got called away to perform my midwife duties.

Last summer we suffered a little with mastitis in the freshly calved cows, and this year we are giving the dry cows garlic to try to keep the flies away. So far we have seen few flies but have had a couple of cases of mastitis. Time will tell whether we will continue with the garlic, particularly as it may get more expensive due to a European court ruling that Britain must pay an outstanding garlic import tax of £15m.

Headlines recently stated the RPA is getting its act together, and that this year there should be fewer problems. This comes as little comfort to farmers like ourselves who have been caught up unnecessarily in an ongoing entitlement error. Until we get these entitlements back, including a back-dated payment of five years, my judgement will remain reserved.

Julian Ellis milks 150 Guernsey cows on 158ha at Lands End, Cornwall, in partnership with his father and two part-time staff. The farm rears followers and store cattle, with 36ha used for growing spring barley, 12ha for spring cabbage and several acres for fodder beat and kale.


Read more articles from Julian Ellis

Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers

See more