Farmer Focus: Charlie Armstrong has a good start to the New Year

Happy New Year to you all and what a great start farming has got off too – with the weak pound, beef shortages, lamb shortages and rising grain prices. Hopefully this will continue for the next few years. So far things have been that good I haven’t smoked since Boxing Day, but if our single farm payment doesn’t come soon, I might have to start.

The frosty weather has been good for spreading muck and ploughing, both of which we haven’t had time to do as belly clipping cows and fat cattle has taken up a lot of time.

Having to have TB licenses for all cattle moving off the farm has proved a nightmare as our computer printer decided to have a festive holiday and everything has had to be done by hand. I will never complain about computers again.

Just lately I’ve been to several meetings backed/organised by DEFRA. The speakers, armed with figures and facts, tell us we need to work together and we might just get grants allowing us to get stronger at marketing with more opportunities if we do so. No mention of grants for slurry stores, cattle handling equipment, sheep pens, sheds etc.

I know we can’t educate DEFRA now, but a level playing field on this small island would be good, and we could all collaborate and market together. The opportunities could be huge.

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