Alistair Mackintosh faces EID conundrum

We still have 40 acres of silage to make and are yet to strike a blow with harvest. We haven’t had two dry days together for as long as I can remember, and our heavy land is too wet to travel.

It was interesting to watch the news bulletins of New Yorkers leaving their homes in preparation for the expected onslaught from the approaching hurricane. TV pictures clearly demonstrated that they had some horrendous weather with strong winds and heavy rain. It almost looked like they were suffering a typical Cumbrian summer.

Breeding ewe sales have started, and although lamb prices are better than last years, the breeding ewe price has exceeded that rise and then some. Number two son went to auction and brought home 233 replacement shearlings and handed me the bill – I could almost have bought a house with what they cost.

The biggest problem I’m experiencing at present, is reconciling the EID ear numbers with my on-farm records. As yet, we haven’t had a 100% read for our sheep coming onto the farm, which has meant that we have had to invest in one of those “stick” readers. Even with two IT literate sons, downloading the information to our computer has not been straight forward, and I doubt if we have got it 100% correct. Even with the time, money and hassle that we’ve spent, it’s clear that tolerances will be required if we are not to compromise our Single Farm Payment.

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