Farmer Focus: Is Brexit faring better than they let on?

I have just returned from the NFU Cymru Welsh Council meeting in Cardiff, where Brexit was the dominant topic.

We heard from both the CBI and the Welsh government that behind the scenes Brexit negotiations are going far better than the politicians and media would have you believe. So hopefully, some sensible trade deals will be more beneficial to agriculture than we first feared.

We recently had a very thorough and in-depth audit from the technical manager at the Abergavenny Creamery. It took most of the day and went over a lot of topics already covered by a Red Tractor inspection earlier in the year.

See also: Read more from our livestock Farmer Focus writers

Fortunately, Jess is well up on the paperwork side of things and we didn’t have any non-conformances. Although I needed to get training records for the pest control officer, despite him being employed by a local pest control company that we use.

I have been travelling around Wales, speaking at Farming Connect Diversification seminars on dairy goat farming. Other speakers covered deer farming and sheep milk production, which I found very interesting.

There seems to be good opportunities for venison production through a Dovecote Park Waitrose scheme. It would be great if we could get a similar scheme up and running with a major retailer for goat meat.

Turnips in

We have direct drilled stubble turnips in some fields and planted some using a seed unit on the back of a cultivator. It will be interesting to see which is the better establishment method.

The late season grass growth has been so good that some fields I planned to graze had to be cut again. The maize looks good, but will not be harvested in September, despite looking like it would be early this year.

Tommy has started senior school. We were very proud when he scored a try in his first main school rugby match last week.

His teacher, Mr Bevan (an ex British Lion), was refereeing the game. When an opposition father, wearing a replica Lions shirt, started criticising his refereeing, Mr Bevan simply said: “I have a shirt like that, except mine is real.”

Gary and Jess Yeomans run a herd of 700 milking goats across 100ha, which supplies a local cheese factory. They also own a small pedigree Welsh Black suckler herd to graze permanent pasture in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.