The outlook is good for 2017 but we can't afford any complacency
One of the advantages to spring calving is that the month of January is a relatively quiet month.
It gives us the opportunity to take stock on a number of fronts. We are in the process of completing our profit monitor for 2016.
Our Discussion group will meet with Tom, our Teagasc advisor, and go through the figures to see how we survived last year's milk price crash.
Those figures when combined with the state of the current account will give us a very good indication of how durable our farm business is. Based on that information we will form a plan for the year ahead.
We all expect 2017 to be an easier year financially, but we must not allow complacency to set in.
A lot of us have deferred capital repayments to the bank, increased our overdraft, or are carrying merchant credit. All of these may have been necessary but we must catch the bull by the horns from June onwards to regain control of our finances.
Bank overdrafts and merchant credit are very expensive so it is imperative the promised new low interest rate loans of 2.95pc are made freely available now.
Another hugely important area to address in the quiet time is health and safety. This is an area we all continue to work on and still the carnage continues.