Farmer Focus: Clarkson’s farm is advertising we could never buy

We have just finished watching Jeremy Clarkson’s TV series documenting his first year running and operating a farm in the Cotswolds. 

It has been so refreshing to see agriculture in mainstream media that is both positive and, in some parts, very relatable.

I bet we all know a Gerald or Kaleb in our rural communities, and it is such a tonic to see their skills and values showcased on screen. 

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Johnjo Roberts
Livestock Farmer Focus writer
Johnjo Roberts converted his family’s 250ha beef and sheep farm on Anglesey to an 800-head spring-block calving dairy in 2014. Maximising grazed grass and good milk solids are priorities.
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One TV series on its own will not change some of the rhetoric surrounding agriculture, but the value of these positive and realistic messages getting as big a coverage as they do is priceless, and far greater than any advertising campaign the industry could ever contemplate. 

See also: Video: What’s in Your Shed? visits Jeremy Clarkson’s 400ha farm

It also makes me happier that every time I sit down to write this column, I struggle to start with anything other than what the weather has done in the past five weeks.

I am conscious of how mundane a retrospective weather report must be.

On that note, we could do with some rain again, with grass growth slowing down and grass going through its naturally slow growth stage after seed heading. 

We also had to cut a significant amount of the grazing platform for silage because of the explosion of growth we had in May once it warmed up and rain arrived. 

It has been one of the most challenging springs and early summers for grass management we have seen here on Anglesey.

The team is enjoying a simpler routine now with AI completed and the bulls turned in to sweep up any of the remaining cows.

We now need to decide how long to keep them in for. We want to reduce our calving block from 12 to 10 weeks, so we will see how bold we are feeling in two weeks’ time.

The barn conversions are almost complete, with decorators going in this week to do the woodwork and final touches.

I think we can be confident enough to get them listed now and hopefully haven’t missed all of the last-minute summer holiday bookers.