Farmer Focus: I’ve missed the carols this Christmas

It looks like we will be able to have the turkey with the family again this year. There will be the usual cracker jokes, putting the world to rights and sleeping.

It’s been a shame that we haven’t had much church time this year – I miss the carols.

Some farming lows this year were having to cut back production in the spring. Fertility results were a big disappointment.

Family-wise, losing Uncle John this year was a big one for us, especially for dad and his generation. To lose the first of your number is always hard. 

See also: Opinion: When will this Brexit Groundhog Day ever end?

Highland Show conversations were sorely missed this year. Social gatherings were limited, and we missed our big birthday bash as a result of the restrictions.

However, I give thanks that we have been relatively unscathed by the ravages of Covid-19.

The agricultural economy is sound. People need to eat, and we have the space to walk around.

High points of the year were the easy summer. We enjoyed good grazing with loads of grass – Ayrshire loves a good drought.

Seeing the youngstock doing so well on the grazing system was fantastic. All credit needs to go to Danny and Maggie for making it happen.

Signing one farm (Millands) up to be a strategic dairy farm will give us a strong focus on the physical performance of the spring herd and it will be great for us all to get some more external input and oversight.

Cows have been dried off, which calmed down the workload. Lean, early calvers were dried off a week or two earlier.

Liver fluke is still an issue here even after the dry summer, so dosing is critical. With quality, low-fibre silage this year, I’m finding cows are still being challenged with acidosis even at 37% dry matter.

We will need to add a dry, fibrous crop to balance this next year – l’m getting maize envy.

I think I’ll buy Boris a buffoonish Christmas jumper. It’s a good look for him. And for Nicola, our indomitable First Minister, I will gift a calculator as I do every year.

It was a shame to see our local golf course owner lose the US presidency this year. I hope he sticks to golf in future.


Read more about Ayrshire dairy farmer Wallace Hendrie