At last DEFRA’s computer has allowed us to be paid the remainder of our 2010 SFP, but unfortunately at the same time it sent a message to the RPA to count our sheep.
The RPA arrived and the inspector was positioned at the end of the race where he stood all day and counted over 9,000 sheep followed by the paperwork – great job, no problems.
Natural England will hopefully put an advert in the local paper looking for organic species-rich bird wintering as our CSS has come to an end and they are not renewing it. Well they have paid us £250,000 over the last 10 years to establish species rich swards etc. What a waste of money as I have now bought a species-rich inverter – ie one seven furrow plough and what a seed-bed we are obtaining for wheat.
The accident book has been out recently as our shepherd vaccinated himself with footvax. Three days in hospital, a handful of stitches, immune to foot-rot and he is fine. But at the time it was very serious as it is oil-based. I then proceeded to cut the end off another finger but it’s in action again.
The following day the Kubota was stolen but we found it a week later hidden in some trees awaiting collection. With two police in the landrover we set off for the hidden Kubota and I reversed into the secretary car – no problems with witnesses here. The police and I decided to put a tracker on the Kubota and leave it where it was, however our insurance would not cover it left in the trees and we couldn’t purchase a tracker anywhere locally, so the plan was abandoned.
We have put 30 home-bred tups out for their annual enjoyment to 2,000 ewes, and we finished harvest potatoes the same day in dry, dusty conditions for the first time.
Farmer Focus Livestock: Charlie Armstrong