We dried off the last of the milking herd this week a little ahead of schedule. The weather turned a bit nasty over the last few days so between that and the lactose tests taking a nosedive, we decided to take our Christmas holidays a few days early.
We are only a month out from calving now, so it’s probably time to call it a day. We finished fitting the last few cubicles for this year this week, so we just about have space for everything in time for the winter.
We have plenty of derogation work to do over the next two weeks to keep us busy, despite the milking parlour being mothballed for the season. There’s an online course to complete, some soil samples to bring up to date and some adjustments to be made to roadways and watertroughs.
Off farm, we seem to be rushing headlong into a huge disaster with a hard Brexit looking increasingly likely as we get closer to the end-of-year deadline
We may have to leave some of the bigger jobs until next summer, when ground conditions are more conducive to this type of work. Most of the farm is compliant, so hopefully we will get some forbearance if inspected in the meantime.
Off farm, we seem to be rushing headlong into a huge disaster with a hard Brexit looking increasingly likely as we get closer to the end-of-year deadline. The backlogs at the ports already are only a taste of what is to come. We were probably guilty of adding to the backlog ourselves with a bit of last-minute shopping before the deadline.
We have brought in a number of breeding bulls out of the UK over the last five years and we picked another couple this month to add new bloodlines to the herd. We’ve since been informed by the breed societies in Ireland that UK stock won’t be eligible for Irish registration if imported after 1 January.
We have some breeding heifers to move in the opposite direction this week as well
We have beaten the deadline this time as the bulls were moved quickly and have landed in Clara already. The rules are changing quickly though and although ours would have been a small issue in the scheme of things, it could have caused us a lot of headaches.
We have some breeding heifers to move in the opposite direction this week as well, again with the deadlines looming in the background. These are going to a new organic dairy farm in Yorkshire. Hopefully if we can get on top of COVID-19, we can visit this farm at some stage next year to see how they are doing.
All of the rules and regulations will be disrupted on 1 January and many will have to be tediously re-written regardless of whether or not a deal gets done. The UK will become a third country in two weeks’ time with or without a deal so a new set of rules of engagement will be needed.
A deal is essential for the future of both the beef and dairy sectors and many other businesses on this island
It’s disappointing to see the two countries moving further apart again after 20 years of moving closer together and building bridges. Hopefully we get a trade deal negotiated, even if the negotiations stretch into 2021.
A deal is essential for the future of both the beef and dairy sectors and many other businesses on this island, but the deal will effectively be with a new country that is outside the EU and therefore there will be huge cost incurred just complying with the new regulations. The deal is essential though to avoid tariffs so hopefully all the negotiators keep patient and keep talking. The way 2020 has gone, it might be better to finalise everything early in the new year.