Farmer Focus: Sometimes farming leaves you feeling helpless

Upon reflection, I think the past month has probably been one of the toughest since I came back home.

I think farming has to be one of the only professions where at times you can feel completely helpless and no matter how hard you try, it continues to baffle.

I know mental health is a real buzzword in modern times, but I genuinely do not think farmers get enough credit for their mental resilience.

There are a lot of preconceptions and, indeed, misconceptions about farmers that just are not true, especially in today’s ridiculous world.

See also: Guide to using Johne’s tests to cull in dairy herds

We have had a month of problems with transition cows and the dry cow period, which has been compounded further by an issue with calcium levels in late-lactation cows.

To cut a long story short, it has meant we have seen our culling rate increase. It is genuinely heart-breaking and, as always, the changes we have now made will takes weeks/months to work their way through.

That is what makes this whole “green” and vegan movement so difficult to stomach at the moment.

As farmers we do care immensely and take great pride in what we do, and we do it to the best of our ability. Yet our portrayal in the media is one of callous money-grabbers who are out to destroy the planet. 

Anyway, back to my admiration of farmers, because, as always on the last day of the month, you pray that you do not receive any correspondence from Muller about milk price.

But sure enough, there it was – a 1p/litre price drop. I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see Konrad, our Polish workman, return from his three-week holiday.

He was completely oblivious to what had gone on and was in fact really excited to see us, thus giving us all a fresh breath of optimism. And so, onwards we continue.

Read more about Shropshire farmer Henry Wilson