John Yeomans

26 October 2001

John Yeomans

John Yeomans farms 89ha

(220 acres) of mixed hill

and upland near Newtown in

mid-Wales. The farm is split

between hill and upland,

with the hill land in two

blocks running up to 426m

(1400ft). It is stocked

with 70 suckler cows,

including some Limousins

and 540 breeding sheep,

mostly Beulahs

SINCE the last article, Ive had some serious stick about looking stroppy. Someone thought Id swallowed a wasp and someone else drew a moustache and glasses to improve me. In fairness to Jonathan, FWs photographer, there is only so much you can do with my face which is more suited to radio.

We are hoping to keep cattle out until well into November, particularly with the high cost of straw. We have leased in 20 units of Welsh LFA cow quota at £35/head. I expect next year Ill regret not buying, but I was concerned about pushing our borrowings up too much.

As part of the Welsh Sheep Strategy and an initiative by the Welsh Assembly, we have blood tested, electronic bolused and tagged 130 ewes and 10 high index ram lambs in an effort to improve scrapie resistance in the national flock.

As part of the project, flocks involved agree to mate ewes to particular genotyped rams based on blood test results. The plan is to raise the scrapie resistance level in the national flock.

Ewes have been Agrimin bolused and ewe lambs dosed with Copprite following blood tests. They will be retested at lambing to monitor effects of the different treatments.

Weve recently had vets to the farm in order to apply for a sole occupancy licence to enable us to move between our eight different land blocks. This will make management much easier and means we wont have to apply for a licence and have our stock checked before every farm movement.

Our vets are snowed under with licensing work and should be paid by the Samaritans for keeping us all going.

We have registered our interest in Farming Connect, a Welsh Development Agency initiative aimed at keeping Welsh farmers in business. It starts with a business review and looks at various options for the future. Well keep you posted on its progress.

After an eight-month break we have started the TIR farm project meetings again. It was really good to get together and start looking forward. Im sure with Margaret Beckett at the helm the futures great – well if we move to France and open caravan parks it will be. &#42

With TIR farm project meetings running again and a new Welsh Development Agency initiative, now is the time to look forward, believes John Yeomans.

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