Opinion: Politicians must tackle the flaws in high risk farm expansion policies
We are certainly not out of the woods yet with the weather and suggestions that all the various farming sectors should now endeavour to help one another are to be commended. However, my first task is to sort out my own farm enterprise and get it back up and running again.
I remember an old Jesuit teacher once telling me that I should never allow myself to become a victim of circumstance, so my main focus at the moment is to get a second cut of silage in before the end of summer and hopefully I will then have enough feed for my cattle next winter.
There have been some strange reactions to the current crisis. One that I found particularly unusual was a recent suggestion that farmers who wisely choose not to indulge in dubious high-input systems should have their CAP Basic Payment reduced and the monies redirected to subsidise apparently unsuccessful intensive production systems.
This to me appear to be similar to suggesting that in the well known Bible story of the 10 maidens who were invited to a wedding feast, it was the five wise maidens who took precautions in case their lamps ran out of oil lamps who should have been punished.
Hopefully our politicians and policymakers realise that they too should have been far more aware of the extreme difficulties which could arise from their enthusiastically promoted high-risk farm expansion policies. They must now make an in-depth examination of the serious flaws which this year's weather has exposed in these policies.
Back to my farm and as I have already said my first task is to assess how things currently stand and plan for the rest of the year.
My cattle appear to very content and doing surprisingly well, however after such a disastrous spring and summer I remain very concerned about how things will eventually work out.
Fortunately, I have managed to conserve a good deal of aftergrass which although it doesn't look that great, will help to get things back on track in the short to medium term.