Farmer Focus: Hiding after vegan Twitter dispute

It feels like a long time ago we last wrote. At the start of harvest yields were good from the first-cut crops. It was downhill after that.

However, we did get the crop in dry. The quality is there across the board. Wheat, oats and peas were all sold a long time ago for good money, so we can’t complain.

Rob and I have been keeping the tractor running pretty flat out to get all the field work done.

See also: How collaborative group is helping breeders market sheep

We’ve been swapping to help James the shepherd getting lambs wormed and shorn, administering the last fly control on the ewes and moving stock off lambing ground on to arable stubbles and turnips.

The benefit of all the rain is that we’ve no shortage of good-quality ewe and lamb food – 80ha of stubble turnips and 160ha of oats and clover.

The MyoMax project is coming along nicely too. We have five gold copy carriers already, which means they are double carriers of the muscling gene.

The MyoMax lamb groups are visibly finishing faster than the non-MyoMax. We’ll have figures to back it up out soon.

On the flip side, we had a horrible time about six weeks ago with seemingly fit lambs just dropping dead.

A post-mortem revealed barbers pole worm, so James valiantly flew through treating the lambs as fast as the repetitive strain in his right hand would allow!

The dark cloud returned last week when I tweeted that as a lamb supplier to Tesco how disappointed I was with their advert where a little girl tells her dad “I don’t want to eat animals anymore”.

The vegan army got hold of it – 200 horrendous replies and one offer to murder me later, we gave up trying to politely converse and hid.

Last week we got the drill stuck and the following day it rained again.

Will we ever get the last 80ha of winter crops in?

The final blow came from Thomas Cook going bust leaving us with no holiday for half term. Many stressful hours later I secured a new holiday to Turkey and two days later they declared war on Syria! Roll on November.

See Rob and Jo Hodgkins’ biography