John Davies: Enjoying the upbeat atmosphere at Welsh Winter Fair

THIS year’s Welsh Winter Fair was much less snowy and, once again, an excellent standard of stock was on display. The atmosphere was upbeat.

We spent a fair bit of time on the Breconshire stand selling raffle tickets etc. My rugby boys and Sioned and friends did an excellent job – eat your heart out Alan Sugar’s Junior Apprentice.

We’ve been buying Welsh Blacks from Dolgellau, selling some with small margin thankfully, but having analysed the silage, I’m quite pleased with its D-value of 74.5 and an ME of 11.9. It is the best for a few years.

This is vital because having crunched the numbers, feed costs in the region of £1.40 per head per day before any other costs, meaning every penny of the price being paid at present is needed to make it worthwhile.

One set back is a weevil infestation in our propcorn non-corrosive treated barley. Having spoken to the rep, treating with a silica type product should sort it. I will keep you posted.

We came through all right, but now have to fill a visitor book for the farm as well as the holiday units

The ewes are still running round outside, making a mess of saturated ground. I might split them into smaller bunches, based on condition score.

Alun, who works with us, and his wife Gaynor, are now building their new home after years of awaiting planning permission. Thankfully, local needs were recognised in the end - it’s good to have young people in our community.

Our Glastir application still sits on the mantelpiece but the latest assurances regarding the greening element of the likely SFP reforms makes it likely we will submit before the deadline.

We had a detailed visit on the cattle side from the Dovecote/Waitrose inspector. Nothing escaped her eagle eye. We came through all right, but now have to fill a visitor book for the farm as well as the holiday units.

Last week I was elected President of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society for the coming year. It is a tremendous honour and responsibility. Plenty of events have been held to raise support in Brecknock and many more are planned thanks to all who are contributing.

It is great to meet readers of ‘In Your Field’ and I’d like to wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. Blwyddyn Newydd iach, lewyrchus a hapus i bawb.

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