Farm Assurance Schemes

BY JIM WEBSTER Are they worth it and if you’re not a farmer have you ever even heard of them? I was lucky in that when they were coming in, I was out of dairy and was buying calves and selling store cattle. So I managed without the extra expense. I did finish a handful of cattle, but I sold them direct to the consumer. … Continue reading Farm Assurance Schemes

Spreading Muck

BY JIM WEBSTER I came across this almost certainly apocryphal story. Apparently a town gets its first 5G phone mast. Almost immediately all sorts of people develop medical conditions. A protest group against the mast is formed. The local council arrange a public meeting and bring in the representatives of the company that erected the mast. In it everybody is waving their doctors notes and … Continue reading Spreading Muck

Jim Webster Wins CLA Award

BY NICK PEARCE Cumbrian farmer Jim Webster, who writes regularly for Country Squire Magazine, has been rewarded for going the extra mile in supporting his fellow Lake District livestock farmers. Jim, a member of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), was one of three chosen to win their President’s Award 2020. Speaking to our Editor, Jim was his usual humble self: “It’s difficult to … Continue reading Jim Webster Wins CLA Award

Food Prices & Bumps in the Road

BY JIM WEBSTER From talking to fellow farmers and others over the last few months, there has been ‘considerable dislocation’ in the market. The nearer you are to ‘commodity’ food production the more stable things have been. Whereas if you’ve specialised to produce for niche markets or even sell direct to the catering trade or at farmers’ markets, everything went very messy very quickly in … Continue reading Food Prices & Bumps in the Road

Farming’s Robot Idealism

BY JIM WEBSTER I saw an interesting comment somewhere in the farming press. Apparently in agriculture we’re going to have to get with the programme and adopt more cutting edge technology. The ‘smart home’ is here, we’re now going to have the ‘smart farm’. Certainly moving to robot milking is now an option for dairy farmers. Economics and other factors might mean it’s not for … Continue reading Farming’s Robot Idealism

Farming & Politics Don’t Mix

BY JIM WEBSTER As you can imagine, a slaughterhouse will get an awful lot of paperwork, and a lot of it has to be properly disposed of because it’s government documents. So a manager I know installed a shredding machine to dispose of it securely. Last time I talked to him he saved this paper for bedding up the pen in the lairage that they … Continue reading Farming & Politics Don’t Mix

The Rural Broadband Con

BY JIM WEBSTER You may be wondering – if you have been following the rural broadband saga we have been experiencing on our Cumbrian farm – what happened when we received a formal quote from Openreach? Well it’s official. We’ve had the formal notification from them. To quote: As discussed the detailed quote provided by Openreach to upgrade your connection under the Universal Service Scheme … Continue reading The Rural Broadband Con