Farmer Focus: New year brings a slightly different role

Happy new year. Hopefully everyone has had an opportunity to enjoy the festive period and the demands of day-to-day farming allowed for some downtime. 

In our spring-block calving, grass-based system, a new year brings a new start and the dawn of a new season.

Following the trials and tribulations of 2018, looking towards 2019 is a bit like starting a new relationship after a bad break up – excited but tinged with fear for knowing all too well how things can turn bad.

Joking aside, we are well set to get cracking this year, following a great autumn. Well-conditioned cows and an awesome team of people on the farms means we are well set.

See also: Guide to spotting and treating common grassweeds

I’m particularly excited to see the teams focus on their objectives and grow in their roles as they take responsibility for grass growth, cow performance, fertility and youngstock.

After four years of being at the coalface at home, I hope 2019 will bring the opportunity to step back from this and allow others to fill this space and take more of the daily responsibility and decision-making.  

It’s something that will be well needed as we are excited that our family is about to grow again with the planned arrival of baby number three at the beginning of June, nicely timed for the end of serving.

As with the start of any new beginning there are a lot of unknowns, and the start of this year will be no exception.

Most remains well out of our control, be it the political landscape, climate or market forces.  

All of these can have a significant impact on our business both positively and negatively and we will continue to monitor them closely, but certainly not spend much energy worrying about what we can’t control.  

What we will look forward to and focus on going into the new year will be setting strategies and laying the foundations for the team to hit.

We will strive to meet our budget targets, exceed our youngstock performance goals, beat our fertility targets and grow and develop ourselves as people, enjoying what we do and spending quality time with family and friends.


Johnjo Roberts is a Farmer Focus writer on Anglesey. Read his biography.