On Monday 19th July I took part in an online meeting arranged by Craig Williams MP to discuss the UK Government’s proposals for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia.

Also attending were representatives from FUW, UK Government Trade Minister Greg Hands, and a senior official at the Department of Trade. It was made clear to the Minister that should cheap low-quality produce come into the UK from Australia, the fabric of Welsh farming could be destroyed.

The production methods in Australia often involve the use of growth hormones and shorter antibiotic withdrawal periods than those used in the UK. Animal welfare rules are very different, with cattle often travelling in ‘road trains’ for days.

Greg Hands assured us that substandard products would not be imported into the UK so our market would be protected. He also said that a period of 15 years was to be allowed before full scale free trade would occur, permitting UK agriculture to gear up and become more efficient.

Another, more urgent, matter was brought up with regards to UK/EU trade arrangements, which at present are proving to be difficult, especially with respect to our exports. This needs sorting quickly as the main lamb export season will soon be with us. I call on Craig Williams MP to make all efforts to get the ‘gremlins’ out of the export trade.

Since my last ‘ramblings’ in the County Times, St Swithin’s day led to some dry weather with near record braking temperature; 29 degrees centigrade here for several days, allowing many farms to gather hay.

We made our second cut of silage with ease, with good ground conditions, unlike the first cut, when the fields were very soft. Our slurry pit has been cleared out and the contents spread on the silage fields.

It would now be good to have a little rain to wash it in to help the grass grow for a third cut in about a month.

Finally, I would like to add a small update on a matter of significant importance to famers across Wales. Earlier this year, NFU Cymru issued proceedings in the High Court for permission to challenge Welsh Government’s introduction of new water quality regulations. Last week, we received confirmation that the union’s application has been granted by the High Court. Work will now be undertaken in line with court directions to prepare for the substantive hearing.