Courtesy of Phil Brookes, National Sales Manager (UK)

June 2021 – the gateway to summer!
 
Farmers always talk about the weather, it is so fundamental to what they do and so out of their control. However, it is giving plenty of talking points this year. We had the warmest March for years, then we had the frostiest April in 60 years and now we have had the wettest May in decades with the last few days giving a mini heat wave. That is a lot to contend with and plans made in the winter are being changed daily now.
 
Grass Silage making is the gathering of the key winter feed for farmers across the country and it has been a very tough time for them to harvest this. May is the main month for the first cut and this is generally where the quality is but with all the rain crops have gone past their best before they could be harvested, or some has been harvested and ensiled in a much wetter condition that would have been anticipated. There is a lot of first cut still to be done and this latest sunshine should give the window to do so.
 
Maize is the other main dairy forage, and in some parts of the country planting has been seriously delayed by the wet May weather with the ground just being too wet to plant the crop. Again, it is getting late to plant the crop, but it does grow very quickly and should catch up if growing conditions allow.
 
Those of us able to get out and about will, through June, start to see Ewes in the fields without their wool as shearing will be starting. It is such a shame that it costs the farmer more to remove the fleece from the sheep than it is worth in the market place. Wool is such a fantastic natural product which just does not seem to have found a market in the modern world. Not helped by global warming and laminate flooring I am sure!
 
All farm inputs are seeing increases in costs with purchased feeds prices increasing monthly. Farm gate prices are increasing for milk, but they need to continue to increase to meet these costs as the dairy farmer margins are being very much tightened. Other farm prices are strong currently and long may this continue.
 
This is a great month for seeing all of the summer colours in the trees and the plants. It is well worth just stopping and taking a minute to enjoy natures beauty whilst it is here. June does have the distinction of having the longest day after all!
 
More next month.

Phil Brookes

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