Farmer Focus: Love is… the internet

Our scanning lady Cheryl arrived and with her speedy efficiency, the ewes scanned out at 206%.

This is slightly less than last year, but 30% are shearlings, so it is a quite pleasing result.

We still have a high number of triplets, so I am sure our milk feeder will be in action. We have just started our triplets on 1/2lb of cake.

See also: Read more from our other livestock Farmer Focus writers 

My 15-month-old son Tom has started walking. Just like a Texel lamb he is up, off and unstoppable. I think I’ll soon have to introduce the “lie down” command. He is a typical farmer with a short vocabulary which has now stretched to two words: “Jess” and “trac-tor”.

I am scratching my head – being totally computer illiterate – as to how I’m going to do my SFP form online. Call me a pre-historic dinosaur of a farmer, but why does everything these days have to be done online?

Some of the farmers I trial with in the hills don’t even have a mobile phone, let alone a computer or sufficient broadband capacity. Instead we will have to pay a professional to do it for us, thus keeping our land agents in corduroy trousers and brogue shoes.

I am not a big fan of the internet – I think it has given our wives far too easy access to the shops. Speaking of which, even romance begins online nowadays. Young Lowcost (Luke the apprentice) has just found his first date on Facebook.

I met my wife in the vet’s waiting room. When I left, I put my number like a parking ticket under the windscreen wipers of her car. Call me old fashioned, but it worked.

Just to keep my controversial head on for a minute, one of my fellow Farmer Focus writers mentioned about us farmers always moaning about prices. Yes, we do, but how many industries have their prices dictated to them? I think we have already tightened our belts to the limit and it wouldn’t do him any harm to go to the pub with his local dairy farmer and get his opinion. Cheers! 

James Read farms in partnership with his father, in Louth, Lincolnshire. They farm 400ha of mainly arable land, run 200 breeding sheep and a pack of working/trialling sheepdogs.