Four legs bad, spring crops good | Voice of a Farmer

We had a terrible Christmas with the animals, but the spring crops are looking good, hopes James Cossins

James Cossins, a fifth generation farmer in the Tarrant Valley.

I think we will be pleased to see the back of 2021.
The last 10 days of December provided us with rain everyday which made looking after our cattle during the festive season less pleasant than it could have been.

One young yearling animal decided to get stuck in a feeder on Christmas Day which took a bit of extracting. Fortunately she was still alive, although a little dazed, and with some pain-relief treatment she is making a good recovery.

The week before Christmas we had our 60 day TB cattle test which ended up finding six reactors in milking cattle. These animals will now have to go to the abattoir for a post mortem examination.

We thought we were making progress in clearing this disease from the farm. We may have to blood test our animals which involves a more sensitive test and can lead to animals without the disease being found positive. For many years there has been talk of a vaccine against TB in cattle but we are always told it is five years away.
I believe there are currently trials taking place to test the effectiveness of the vaccine, so let’s hope progress can be made.

A new year

As we look forward to 2022 it seems that Covid will still be playing a part in our lives. I think we are fortunate to be able to work outside and generally in small groups so our chance of having to isolate is, hopefully, reduced.

Some of our deliveries and collections have been affected by delays, although up to now our milk collections have thankfully not been disrupted.

Spring looking good

Our autumn-sown crops generally look in good condition, so we have gone into the new year in a positive mood. We have the majority of our fertiliser now in stock and spring barley seed is soon to be delivered, so we can look forward to longer days and spring will soon appear.

Divided loyalties

As a season ticket holder for AFC Bournemouth, I managed to watch them play against Cardiff which they won 3 – 0, to go the top of their league.

As I write I am sure that there will be some divided loyalties in the Blackmore Vale area – Bournemouth have been drawn against Yeovil in the FA Cup, and are playing today…

(Bournemouth won 3-1, are through to the fourth round, and play Boreham Wood on the 5th Feb)

by James Cossins, a fifth generation farmer in the Tarrant Valley.

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