Hoping my bargain buys turn into a magnificent seven
As memories of the Ploughing Championships fade, it is time to get back to the everyday job of managing and running my farm.
However, this year I did find the Ploughing Championship really enjoyable; meeting up with so many old friends and acquaintances.
While perhaps only a small percentage of the huge array of farm machines and 4X4s on display were aimed at cattle farmers, I couldn't but think of something a very wise cattle man - long departed, sadly - used to remark, "aren't they great little cattle the way they keep everybody going."
I found many of the stands very interesting; displaying new ways to overcome the many ordinary difficulties and hardships we face every day. However, the one stand which really stood out for me was the Department of Agriculture Stand where I listened with great interest to a presentation by John Muldowney entitled 'Agriculture in a Changing Climate'.
What really aroused my interest in the subject of climate change was the amazing 'thrive' which cattle achieved this summer resulting from phenomenal grass growth. If I wasn't already sure about climate change, this summer's chequered weather patterns of numerous short periods of sunny weather, interspersed with brief periods of mild rain, has certainly raised my interest in the subject.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoyed the extra heat and the warm moist weather was perfect for growth, but it does mark a huge shift away from the usual summer pattern of extended periods of either wet or fine weather to which we have become all too accustomed.
In spite of some dissenting political voices emanating from the southwest I feel it behoves us all to start paying far more attention to what we should be doing to alleviate the changing situation as well as preparing our enterprises for the consequences of what else may be coming down the line.
Back to my farm and cattle going to the factory continue to score well in the condition stakes (please excuse the pun). As would be expected carcase weight and confirmation are beginning to slide somewhat which, combined with an ongoing reduction in factory prices, means that margins are tightening.