Farmer Focus: Police chief visits for rural crime chat

We held another meeting at our farm a couple of weeks ago. This time the speaker was Dafydd Llywelyn, the new police and crime commissioner for Dyfed-Powys.

Rural crime, sheep theft and agricultural vehicles on the road were all discussed. 

One complaint was that a tractor and trailer had been stopped carting silage.

The officer had said grass blowing out was a danger to other road users and advised that loads should be sheeted.

Another person driving a tractor had been booked for not having an HGV licence, and the law surrounding operator licences also seemed unclear. 

It sounds as if  a multi-agency information day will take place soon to help everyone understand more clearly.

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The first bunch of ewes have been turned to the tup.

We tup the Suffolk ewes and the old ewes we won’t keep for another season first.

It allows us to sell those ewes a bit earlier and hopefully achieve a slightly better price. When this bunch starts lambing it will ease us into the routine for another lambing season.

The biggest problem we have had to overcome in the past month is blowfly strike – on both ewes and lambs. 

It is very time-consuming treating individual animals. We did treat some bunches, but cost and withdrawal periods prevented us doing all the sheep.

Thankfully the weather has turned much fresher and far less muggy – it seems the worst has passed.

The warm weather has helped grass growth. I have planted some seed that is enjoying the conditions. 

We once again sowed some hardy winter brassicas on ground higher than 500m. They were later going in than I would have liked and it was very wet, but it is looking pretty good considering.

We have also reseeded a piece at that height and it is looking very well. 

It was burned off for two years and had brassicas direct drilled into it – the sheep and roots did the work for us. 

We gently ran the power harrow over it this year and that was enough of a seed-bed for the grass – harrowed and rolled, job done. 

The sheep have given it a short, hard grazing and it is freshening up again.

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We have reached the end of summer and the boys have reluctantly gone back to school. 

They have such a good lifestyle growing up on a farm, spending all their time outside,  doing important jobs in one form or another. 

Too much TV or iPad use is never a problem in our house. Getting them in the house and to bed on a summer evening is!

School just doesn’t hold the same excitement or importance for them.

Mark and Helen Williams run 1,000 ewes and 40 suckler cows across 283ha of part owned and rented land.