Farmer Focus Livestock: Alistair Mackintosh witnesses riots in Europe

As I write, the silage contractors are pacing the yard, eager to make a start. However, the sun is shining and I’m keen to get some wilt, as the short-term forecast is good. There’s something about silage contractors, that they must be going all the time, even though they are finished here and they have nowhere else to go. I feel a compromise coming on.

Lee has sheared all the sheep and he has done a great job, he is a lot faster than me now. Number one son has also taken an interest and within a year or two, my shearing services may well not be required, with any luck!

After last year’s increase in wool price, I started to hope we had turned a corner. However, sadly we are to be paid less again this time. Supporting the wool board is necessary to prevent wool becoming a waste product and also to achieve higher prices for next year.

I have recently returned from Luxembourg, where I joined a European farmers demonstration designed to highlight the plight of farmers in the EU. It’s amazing what goes on on the Continent: Slurry tankers spreading milk in the street, burning tyres, throwing eggs at speakers and blocking off roads with tractors – all good stuff! It struck fear into the politicians because they took the chance to remain in the commission building protected by armed police.

It’s clear, regardless of what subsidy or sector of farming we are in, farmers are struggling to make a profit. Long-term food security and supply, along with climate change as well as unwanted regulations that deliver extra cost without any benefit, such as EID, are becoming major issues. Our politicians should ignore us at their peril.

See more