A scrape with a bullock gives me a wake-up call on safety
I always feel that Christmas is finally over when the last of the cake has been eaten and its back to the Marietta biscuits for the morning coffee.
I was reminded by one of my friends recently that this is also the time of year when many farmers get nightmares that involve the premature appearance of the back wall of the silage pit. In my case it the sudden evaporation of a large clamp of silage into just one day's supply.
Thankfully, it looks as though this will not pose a problem for me this year.
However, after the last few springs we don't need to be reminded that forces well outside our control will dictate letting-out dates.
The question that every farmer has to face at this time of the year is how can we improve? For me, it simply means striving to increase weight gain while at the same time reducing input costs.
I was somewhat disappointed with last year's returns. Despite being better than 2013, considering the excellent summer of 2014 I felt weight-gains really should have been better.
Reading an on-line farm newsletter recently, it seems that it's not just here in Ireland that some farmers feel it's more important to impress their neighbours than actually earn a decent income from their farms.
Making large unnecessary investments simply to impress our fellow farmers is a world-wide phenomenon.