Farmer Focus Livestock: Robert Neil’s son takes a tumble

2010 has arrived and with it comes more legislation. Sheep EID is now compulsory and a Food Chain Information Declaration for prime stock now has to be completed for animals being sold for slaughter.

As far as we were aware the information contained on this new declaration form has been a legal requirement for a number of years. So why is it we have yet more paper work to complete? Maybe just to create more jobs to help with the rising unemployment figures.

Next week I’m off to the Lamma show at Newark, with a focus to look at Access trailers for transporting personnel around the farm safely, including school visits. Unfortunately children are not allowed to sit on trailers with straw bales on them which we have used for visiting adults. The trailer will have to meet safety requirements, including having all the seats fitted with seatbelts. We have been fortunate enough to receive a grant under the Scottish Rural Development Programme to fund the trailer.

Work on the new shed was completed just in time. The day the calves were brought in was the day the first snow arrived. Unfortunately for our son Andrew it is not a day he will forget for a while. While helping to get the calves inside he slipped on the ice and fractured a bone in his wrist. This involved a visit to the local hospital and an arm in plaster cast.

It’s good to see prime stock prices holding up well, especially prime sheep. On the down side, the more we get for our produce, the more it costs us in mart commission. Perhaps the directors of our local auction mart should think about following the examples set by some of the other auction companies by capping the commission they are charging.

• Read more from Robert Neil.
• More from our other Farmer Focus Livestock writers.

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