John Davies

19 December 1997

John Davies

John Davies runs an upland

stock farm in mid-Wales.

The main holding at Pentre

comprises 145ha (360

acres) of grass, with some

short-term grass lets being

taken, and hill rights

extending to 97ha (240

acres). The farm carries 101

suckler cows, 975 ewes,

230 Beulah speckled face

ewe lambs and 35 Welsh

Mule ewes.

THE beginning of last month saw us concreting and reorganising the feeding system at Pentwyn, where the young cattle will be housed for the winter. There will be more kept there this winter due to present prices being below cost of production. They will be fed on silage only which analyses at crude protein 18.9, D-value 73.1 and ME 11.7; however, its a little wet at 20% DM.

The ewes, which have been put to the Beulah-speckled face ram for replacements, have been turned back out to the range. In the past some have been sent on tack. This year with costs needing to be controlled, they will receive supplementary feed from around Christmas time.

Went to the Ffermio 2000 award ceremony where a young couple from near Welshpool won, they are new entrants to farming with tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to the industry. Ffermio is the Welsh language farming TV programme and is the best, most balanced farming programme for many years. A large number of English speakers watch it with the help of Teletext translation service.

The article would not be complete without having a calf to pull backwards. I think I can recognise this problem from 50 yards now. Called the vet and this time we had a successful outcome.

Sunday night, anger finally turns into action and some beef burgers find their way into the sea at Holyhead.

The media attention has focused very sharply on the plight of our agricultural industry over the last few days. I was in Gaerwen market on Wednesday night where there were at least 3000 farmers.

What is absolutely vital at this time is that all demonstrations stay within the law and do not inconvenience the public, our customers. I believe it is absolutely correct that all imports should be subject to the same rigorous standards as our own meat.

I was pleased to hear Ron Davies, Secretary of State for Wales give an undertaking that if evidence of any beef being imported was found not to be up to those standards, action would be taken. I think hell be busy. At the time of writing, (Dec 5), it looks as if this next week will be absolutely vital for our rural areas throughout the country.

Think not what your industry can do for you, but what you can do for your industry.n

John Davies will keep more young cattle this winter, and feed them on silage only because present prices are below his cost of production.

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