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Autumn Challenges


Wow that was the wettest autumn in my living memory!  Just in the last three weeks I have emptied eighteen centimetres of rain from my rain gauge. This is quite exceptional even for this time of the year and you will know from your own gardens and local parks just how wet the last three months have been.

This has presented us with many challenges on the farm as all of the cows, calves and young stock have had to be housed, bedded and fed full winter rations some weeks before the usual time. This means that feed which was made this summer to last the cattle through what could be a long winter, has been started earlier than usual and is approximately ten percent lower than usual already. Some farms we know locally are still short of feed from last year because the spring was so wet and the cows could not be turned to grass even though there was plenty of grass on the fields. However, it’s important to look on the bright side and we must hope that we will be blessed with a shorter winter and dryer spring than last year!

Unfortunately this all adds to the cost of putting your pint into a carton and getting it onto your favourite supermarket shelf, this added to the increase in cost over the last eighteen months will unfortunately be significant. Just recently we had a visit from a good friend who lives in the midlands and she was asking why her milk bill had risen so much in the last two years. I explained that dairy farming was subjected to the ravages of inflation in just the same way as every other item in her monthly budget, in fact our production cost of milk has risen more than ten percent above the official recorded rate.  She then began to understand and wished me ‘good luck’ for this winter in coping with our current seasonal challenges and more inflation that may be on the way!

On a more exciting note we have completed our project to produce a butter that matches my Mothers masterpiece of all those years ago.  This will be labelled Ivy’s as you would expect, and replicate the butter that she made by hand. I have such fond memories of helping to churn by turning the handle on the old butter churn, which was pretty hard going for a seven year old! I can barely wait to see this in people’s baskets on my weekly visits to the shops. I will be so proud.



November 2023


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