Farmer Focus Livestock:Murray Garrett

Q At last Waytown has an arable success story to report, with 70t of crimped wheat ensiled and 168 round bales of straw from 14 acres. However, my 22 acres of spring barley still awaits the combine, so no over the top celebrations quite yet.

Following the disappointing results for our slaughter bulls at a midlands abattoir reported last month, I am pleased to say a recent consignment to our regular outlet in Cornwall averaged a killing out some 3% a head better and grades a conformation class higher – so much for consistency between outlets, even on the same carcass specification.

No, no, no – please tell me it’s not true. After years of enjoying straightforward dealings with BCMS online, some bright spark at the Ministry has decided to redirect the service via the “Government Gateway”. No doubt this will render my old user ID and password obsolete, sending me once more down an avenue regular readers will recall has proven rather problematic. I fear this simple cow herd may well have to resort to paper passport applications and postal movement notifications once more.

I am no Luddite and I’m fairly sure I am not alone in having found the existing electronic system easy to use and a considerable boon at busy times – so why tinker with a winning formula?

There are many areas within DEFRA that don’t work, why mess with one of the few that does? If it isn’t broke don’t fix it! Our masters in Westminster are meant to be economising aren’t they? How much is this latest change going to cost? Although come to think of it the fiscal stimulus provided by the continued employment of staff manning the DEFRA helplines and bureaucrats issuing more unnecessary documents could well drag the country out of recession.

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