Looking back on 2012 it was a year of many highs and lows. I was hoping for a Christmas present of a milk price rise, but that never came.
The truth is, we have already had a price rise, but unfortunately that was from all our suppliers – the one we really need is from our main buyer. Everything is crossed for that one, as it is essential for survival, but sadly I notice the big supermarkets have started once again with the dairy price discounts – are we so far down the importance pole that we are to reach the bottom?
I haven’t ventured far recently, but I did manage to get to a DairyCo meeting that was of great interest. The meeting was about making the most of what you have available, rather the blanket approach of changing your practices to the “holy grail” of systems, regardless of your location and facilities. It was most reassuring and underlined my own views. The problem these days is that we are overloaded by the current ideas on best practice and, as the speaker said, what works for one might not necessarily work for another. The main message here is: consider your location, your milk contract, your assets and the finances you have available to you and make the most of them.
I have been fortunate to be successful in a 40% grant towards a hydraulic foot crush and I am looking forward to receiving my order some time soon.
Adrian Harrison farms 81ha (200 acres) in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers, with milk sold to Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes, and used to make real Wensleydale cheese