Farmer Focus: Concern over EU referendum

When I last put pen to paper we, as an industry, were waiting with baited breath for the outcome of the general election.

A Conservative government is undoubtedly the best outcome for British agriculture. Now what we must do, with the help of our unions, is make sure they live up to their pre-election promises.

The EU referendum is a concern. The thought we could be leaving the security of being part of this union with no real plan for agriculture is worrying.

Hopefully it’s something we won’t have to face.

Early season lamb prices have been under pressure from imports and a high number of hoggets coming forward.

Suprisingly, cull ewe prices have held firm. This was the main topic of conversation at the recent Welsh NSA Sheep Event.

See also: Time to deliver on farm pledges

It was an excellent day out that and keeps going from strength to strength. It will soon be rivalling the national event.

I was part of a motley crew of local farmers who had been given the daunting duty of escorting groups of primary school children around the event.

It was good to see the children’s enthusiasm and knowledge of where their food comes from. And with more luck than judgement all children made it back to school in one piece.

Activities like this can do nothing but good for farming.

Farm work for the last month has mostly consisted of grassland management again. Thistle control in the plantain has been top of the list.

With no spray available to use on this crop and little in the way of machinery that would do the correct job we turned the clock back and raided the garden shed for the hoes.

Hopefully this method will be worth the effort and its only downside being the lack of volunteers.

Despite this we have increased the area of plantain, with another marginal field sprayed off and ready to drill.

This year’s swede crop has been direct drilled into sprayed off grassland with a coating of slurry.

Store cattle have finished last year’s swedes and thanks to the dry weather use has been good. That field has now been reseeded with a short-term ryegrass ley.

Tom Jones lives on a 200ha upland beef and sheep farm near Lake Vyrnwy, Montgomeryshire. He also has a contract shepherding business looking after ewes locally

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