Last weekend’s rain was a reminder that winter is not far away. The week before, when the weather was glorious, we were busy maintaining fences, and renewing gateposts as the very dry weather this summer had weakened posts around the farm. We also spent a little time preparing sheds for housing cattle which meant that just before the storm hit we housed the store bullocks. The cows and calves are still out with supplementary feed, as although it is now very wet, it is too warm to house young cattle due to the risk of pneumonia.

On Friday we recorded two inches of rain. This water was rushing off the shed roofs sometimes spilling over gutters which need clearing of leaves. The micro hydro was producing the maximum 5.5kW after a long summer of zero production.

I attended a government meeting covering the rules for the Sustainable Grant a few weeks ago. During the meeting we were shown a film about how to check that clean rain water is not joining dirty farm water and therefore increasing the farms’ problem with slurry. There are two films which can be viewed on YouTube which are well worth watching: ‘Clean and Dirty Water – Keith Owen’ and ‘Reducing Agricultural Pollution Campaign’.

This has been a very difficult year in farming. The lack of clarity over the plan for all UK businesses post March 29, 2019, the continual lobbying by environmentalists and vegan activists, and the disappointing attitude of Welsh Government around Welsh Farming is worrying and demoralising, when we have also had problems with the weather.

As we go into the last week available to complete the Welsh Government consultation ‘Sustainable Farming and our Land’, I urge all with an interest in the farming industry to respond. Anyone can access the consultation through the NFU Cymru website or the Welsh Assembly web site.