Autumn is here. The nights are drawing in, the children have returned to school and it is time for the sheep sales. It has been a lovely summer for the children’s holiday, tourists visiting Mid Wales and for farming. There has been continuous grass growth, so plenty of fodder has been made for winter, and the stock are in good condition and are contented in the fields. The arable harvest has been plentiful so the cost of winter rations and straw is reasonable. The maize to be harvested in about five weeks looks vigorous and new grass leys and turnip and rape crops look well, as there has been enough rain and sunshine.

Over the next six weeks we will buying rams, selling yearling ewes and choosing ewe lambs to go to wintering to grow into ewes for next year. We will also continue to sell farm assured prime lambs to a high-quality supermarket. After October 31 we have no idea what the price of lamb, beef, milk, wheat, potatoes, eggs, chicken and pork will be, as, if there is a ‘No deal’ Brexit, the markets will be severely disrupted.

Even though the future for the agricultural sector is unknown, Welsh Government has launched another consultation about funding for Welsh agriculture post-Brexit. It is important that all farmers understand the implications of these proposals and reply to the consultation by October 30. NFU Cymru is holding road shows around Wales, including one in Welshpool Market on Monday, September 9, at 2pm. Please try to attend as it is important that you are kept up to date so that every business can prepare for farming post-Brexit.

It is inevitable that farming will change and that there will be a continued move to produce biodiversity alongside food. For over 20 years we have enhanced the farm using environmental grants and by managing habitats with cattle and sheep. This year we have left spear thistles to flower. They have provided nectar for numerous moths, bees, insects and lots of butterflies such as red admirals, peacocks, tortoiseshells and painted ladies. It is disappointing that the large amount of environmental works undertaken by farmers over the last 20 years is not always recognised, appreciated and evaluated by Government and environmental organisations.