Winter weather has arrived after a very mild couple of weeks over Christmas. We have had a few mornings with snow covered hills. When we are feeding the ewes at 1,200 ft, we can clearly see the snow line at about 700 ft. The valleys appear green as we look down towards Llandinam and the Severn Valley.

We have scanned the Mule and Texel ewes. They have scanned at 173 per cent, five per cent lower than usual. There will be a few more ewes having singles, but very few barrens. The usual number of triplets are due but one ewe is pregnant with quads. It is very useful to know these ewes with multiples as we can start to help them with extra food straight away. At scanning there was an opportunity to check the sheep for condition. We have been feeding silage since December 20 and I was very pleased that this has helped strengthen them. We feed homemade silage by blowing it into the bike trailer with the bale chopper then driving round the fields throwing clumps out in a line (easier with two people). This allows all ewes to feed, causes minimum damage to the grassland and keeps the ewes much cleaner than feeding big bales in ring feeders. I enjoy seeing all the ewes happily eating every day.

I have just completed the quarterly VAT return for HMRC. This reminds me that after April 2019 nearly all businesses with a taxable turnover of over £85,000 will have to keep their VAT records digitally and use HMRC ‘Making Tax Digital’ compatible software to submit their VAT returns. NFU Cymru will be offering an affinity deal on certain software including the MTD VAT Filing Software provided by Absolute Accounting and also the main products from Landmark Systems, keep an eye on the website for further details on this. Many accountants are advising their clients about this change and Farming Connect are running courses at the moment.

During the last few weeks veganism has been everywhere in the media. While everyone is entitled to an opinion on diets of all kinds it is a shame that more attention is not given to a well-balanced diet made up of fresh food. Vegetables, fruit, milk products, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, pulses and bread provide all the nutrients, vitamins and fibre required, without supplements, and are tasty and enjoyable.