FARMER FOCUS: Ready to cut a third crop of silage

That is it – I have officially become a workaholic. It’s not a nice disease I have to say and one of the side effects, I have been told by the wife, is moaning.

In fact, her words to me these days as soon as she sees me are: “If you are going to moan I am not going to listen.” I was wondering if a farmer’s wife had written that song that is currently in the charts – lyrics as follows: “I am covering my ears like a kid and when your words mean nothing I go lala lala lala lala lala.”

Well among the moaning there is at least some good news this year. Plenty of sun, straw and silage. I have just got first-cut silage tested and the results are better than last year at 28% dry matter, with an ME of 11.8, proteins at 15.8% and D value of 70.6% .

We are getting ready for third cut this week – what a luxury! And it looks like a good insurance crop. It feels so nice to have plenty in store in case we have another hard winter.

My change of breeding policy is just coming into visibility now, with many British Blue crosses on the ground. I am hoping to get a good reputation for beef calves. They do finish very well and albeit they are smaller to start with than their counterparts, they are less money to buy and the profit margins are just as good. So if you see any at market they are worth a go and are more manageable in size.

The weather has provided us with some great ice cream sales. We feel incredibly lucky to have had a proper summer, which has meant that many people have tried and enjoyed our ice cream. Next year we see the Tour de France travelling through the Dales and this will provide many opportunities for farmers in terms of pop-up campsites, car parks and much more, including great sales of food of all types. Well done Welcome to Yorkshire.

Adrian Harrison farms 81ha in partnership with his father Maurice in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. He runs 130 pedigree Jersey cows with 70 followers. Milk is used to make Wensleydale cheese

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