Farmer Focus: Disgusted our MP voted against Ag Bill amends

Drying off is fast approaching, with only seven weeks left before our planned dry-off date of first week in December.

It’s currently hard to say what will come first – a second national lockdown or drying off.  

There’s almost a sense of inevitability of a second lockdown now. The press has a sniff of it and are stirring up the panic with ever-increasing infection and death rate figures and, in my opinion, the government looks more void of a clear strategy now than ever.

Last night the House of Commons voted down the proposed amendments to the Agriculture Bill to protect food standards and I am frankly disgusted that our Tory MP for Ynys Mon (Anglesey), Virginia Crosbie, did not seek to protect a predominantly rural community and instead voted with the whip. 

See also: Agriculture Bill: Which MPs fought for UK farmers?

We do not have an MP who votes for the best interests of her constituency, merely one that was shipped in from away and is willing to toe the party line.

Back to matters in our control – winter and spring preparation is in full swing.

We have started our last grazing round of the farm, with an aim to graze 70% in October and the remainder in November.

Grass growth is good for the time of year and grass covers are bulking up ahead of us, which is helping with the extended grazing rotation.

Bales are almost all out on crop ready for winter and we will be housing the yearling heifers in a week or so, as we need to ensure we carry enough grass over for their turnout in early spring.

The in-calf heifers have moved closer to home and are now on daily allocations of grass and bales. They will soon be freeze-branded and vaccinated to bring them in line with the herd.

We have two milk recordings left to complete. As I write, one is at 5am tomorrow.

These will give us the information required for drying off and detecting any Johne’s cows so they can be managed accordingly. 

Elsewhere, we have started work on a barn conversion that will provide us with a small holiday let business and a new income-generating asset.

Johnjo Roberts farms on Anglesey. Read more here