Farmer Focus: Milk prices are heading in a stressful direction

We have seen a great deal of milk price volatility and sadly, it is heading in a stressful direction. Yet again I see many fellow farmers having gained false confidence and invested in their businesses only to be let down by such a changing market place.

We have started our third cut on land that we re-seeded and we have decided to bale the crop. This summer we have benefited from a magnificent growing season which we are very grateful for. At least amongst the bad market news, we should benefit from reduced animal feed this winter.

On the straw front, we managed to get a wealthy corn baron to sell us straw directly from his farm. Normally this would not be practical, but with the tractor we bought along with the loan of his magnificent trailer we have secured several loads. This should prove helpful with the milk prices as they are; it also makes the tractor earn its keep as well as me!

This year saw the 100th anniversary of The Wensleydale Agricultural Society. The show, which was held in Leyburn, went tremendously well.

There was a fantastic turnout of stock and, hopefully, those who attended found it worthwhile. Thanks also to those who supported our Wensleydale ice cream stand which was a great success.

I always seem to fill in my evenings with work. This year I decided to landscape the area in front of our house. We received quotes from builders and it was really a no go as it was going to cost thousands. Anyway my trials biking mate and I have set to and are landscaping it ourselves.

So far the family have been joking that I have built “Adrian’s wall”, albeit it is not quite as magnificent as the original that separates England from Scotland. Mind you, looking at the Scottish independence campaign, I may get some extra work re building that famous divide.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers, with milk sold to Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes

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