Farmer Focus Livestock: Tim Downes’ FW days are over

Should I dust off my rugby boots?

We are back to producing food as Mr Benn suggests, following lost days TB testing. And we heard this morning that we have been put on six-month testing, an improvement on the past five tests at 60 days.

Other news is that we’ve been accepted for a grant thanks to 7Y, from Re:think Energy. Fitting a heat-recovery system – including solar panels – to reduce our carbon footprint, I feel a farm walk coming on.

DairyCo has re-invigorated its Milkbench+ system and the Stargrazers are meeting in a pub to discuss our figures. The milking herd is housed at night allowing us to continue grazing during the day until late November.

We are due our annual Soil Association inspection and, with 700 acres and an average field size of 10 acres, the inspectors have to check every field every three years, which might be uncomfortable in the forecasted storm. Our change to Farmwizard online cattle recording system means the running total of cattle is at a touch of a button. Further to this, we are looking at using EID in beef cattle to speed up the weighing process.

Those who know me will appreciate one of my shortcomings, the inability to say no to a farm walk or getting involved with a worthwhile committee, I have my genes to blame for this long before the time of Genomics! So read on

It is time to hang up another set of boots. Writing in FW has been similar to letting off the village fireworks this year: plenty of running about in the dark waiting for inspiration, then flash, it’s gone. I was told recently not to worry as there is another organic dairy farmer writing in FW, he is that cheeky chubby lad.