At the moment, nothing is happening on the farm. We have had four failed attempts to put the cows out. It’s too wet to get the tractors on to the land to fertilise it.

We could put on fat tyres, but there is a danger all the fertiliser will be washed away by the incessant rain. The spring batch of cows are slow to start calving.

I’m always happier to talk about things that are going wrong rather than things that are going right (as that will tempt fate). Suffice to say, some things are going well.

Recently, I went to Cardiff to watch the Six Nations rugby match. And although I am a Welsh supporter, I feel I must applaud Ireland on their current success, but we do have some potential dynamite waiting in the wings.

Walking through the shopping mall beforehand, I was staggered by the sheer number of cafés and restaurants, cheek by jowl, with large queues of people outside clutching bags full of designer clothes.

I feel amazed and astounded by the sheer numbers, but hopefully they are making the economy go round.

But an idle thought - would it be better to subsidise food at the point of purchase rather than the point of production? Think about it, less interference at farm level.


I noted a recent comment in the Irish Farmers Journal about farmers protesting - “The English have brought it on themselves.” But we appear to be the only nation not protesting. We have been waiting to see what was promised.

It’s now out, but details are lacking and with a change of government, is it likely that these promises will be recognised? As an ardent remainer, I have been surprised that the British livestock prices didn’t collapse after Brexit.

After all, where would all that Welsh lamb go if it couldn’t go to Europe?

It has remained a buoyant market and beef prices have remained on a high. Although the Welsh farmers voted to a man to leave, they are finding that the regulations invented by the Welsh government are far more onerous than the European ones they shed.

Russia went into Ukraine and cattle feed prices escalated beyond all reason. We were told this was because Ukrainian wheat could not longer be exported across the blockaded Black Sea.

We now discover said wheat is going into Poland, collapsing Polish wheat prices. Something that Polish farmers are protesting about. Could this wheat not come here via Poland? Was this opportunist selling and taking advantage?


Welsh farmers have to take 20% of land out of production. This is government desktop policy, made by people who have no vision of the long-term possibility of food scarcity, since they know they have only the prospect of a short-term political career.

My local spray contractor used to have five self-propelled machines; he is now closing his operation. Similarly, a spray contractor in Somerset has this year lost 45% of his custom since arable farmers are concentrating on producing large acreage of crops to feed wild birds (heavily subsidised by the government to the tune of £850/ha).

Very profitable once again, desktop management with no thought to guaranteeing food security. They have now seen such an uptake of this scheme that they are restricting it to 25% of the farm.

All this makes me very optimistic for the future of agriculture since, in the past, oversupply meant cheap prices.

The two problems facing the dairy industry at the moment are the average age of the farmer and the shortage of labour (the one creating a dependency on the other, coupled with a low milk price).

Do we do enough to encourage youngsters into a career in agriculture?

We ourselves often have school visits, but, on reflection, I realise we never raise the subject of a career opportunity in agriculture with these children who are often from town backgrounds, who imagine that it’s only for those who live on a farm or in the countryside.

And still, it keeps raining; my son-in-law tells me we shouldn’t let the cows out until the moon stops shining on the paddocks – water makes a good reflection.