Touring the farm on our return from Oz I found everything in fine fettle. Our daughter Sarah has done a great job of looking after things and my only regret was not taking another week to see some of New Zealand.
Thanks to the settled spell of weather in our absence, grass and stock have grown well. The extra weight achieved by a batch of fat lambs was unfortunately nullified by the drop in price, together with a few 3H grades.
We still require a few more yearling cattle, but it seems the abundance of relatively cheap feed in the country has driven store prices higher. My enthusiasm for our beef enterprise was not encouraged by the sight of good quality cattle changing hands on the other side of the world at less than half our prices.
Undeterred, I have continued buying. But when we came to register a batch of “on” movements we first had to register with the government gateway to access CTS online service. This of course means yet another ID number and password. Having been given a gateway number we registered cattle and also looked at doing VAT returns online – compulsory for us by April next year.
Our new maps have arrived and only need minor clarifications around some small wooded areas. Let’s hope this doesn’t cause more trouble than its worth.
The new South West Agricultural Resource Management scheme looks quite interesting. Advice and a small capital grant towards a more efficient water supply may be worth investigating.
I hope the National Sheep Association’s EID road shows are seen as an opportunity to learn some detail of what is expected of us in 2010 and not just another chance for folk to reiterate their opposition to the whole scheme.
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