Farmer Focus: The simplest haytime I have known

What an almighty hash the prime minister made of the general election. She might not like live TV debates, but you can’t just fail to show up.

As for that other clown, God help us if he ever gets elected. With his vast spending promises and far-left views, any landowners will be seen as wealthy tax targets.

Keep a cool head

Our milk-cooling system needs updating. During the hot weather we need to be able to cool the milk to below 3C before the tanker arrives mid-morning.

See also: Read more from our Livestock Farmers Focus writers

We are replacing an ageing tank I purchased at a farm sale for £100 back in 2005. It has served us well.

We also plan to install an ice builder and a double bank plate cooler to replace the single bank one. Hopefully, the ice water will chill the milk before it hits the tank. 

With new compressors (scroll type) with a heat recovery unit to heat water as the milk is cooled, we hope to save a substantial amount of electricity.

We have applied for the new Welsh government farm business grant to fund some of this, although the scoring system means if you apply for too many items your score goes down. This will hopefully lead to more smaller grants being distributed over a larger number of farmers.

Easiest hay season ever

June saw the easiest haymaking season I have ever known, with no stress or tedding twice a day and rushing to clear bales. Glastir scheme roots have been planted and the annual payment finally received, less a few “naughty boy” penalties.

We had an excellent vet student from Liverpool University to help finish the foot-trimming and have another this week from Bristol. This is enabling us to catch up with all livestock tasks.

We have been helping Jess’s parents move house this month. My father-in-law Peter is a retired builder and has a large collection of leftover building materials and equipment.

This has involved many truck, tractor and trailer loads back to Pant Farm and inspired us to get a skip to sort our own mess out.

Gary and Jess Yeomans run a herd of 700 milking goats across 100ha, which supplies a local cheese factory. They also own a small pedigree Welsh Black suckler herd to graze permanent pasture.