Monday, 19 January 2015

First Milk Meeting, Weekend Shooting

A cold sparkling silver morning with the blackbirds and robins trilling away merrily in th hedgerows. The dogs love this weather, as do I, and whilst I do not leap and prance around with the frost in my toes like them, I do enjoy the briskness it brings to our daily walks.

Further to my last post, we attended the First Milk meeting and listened to Sir Jim Paice explaining the current dire situation regarding the milk price.
In simple terms there is simply too much milk on the world market and this affects the whole system from the farmers onwards. It is a very complicated business and I can't begin to try to explain it as I barely understand it myself but it has meant that the price to farmers has dropped dramatically. First Milk has deferred its payments to the farmers by two weeks and this deferrment is to continue until August. Some farms are going to really struggle...some 60 farms left the industry in December alone.
I take back my comment in the last post about the chairman & board not having their salaries deferred as Sir Jim did tell us that they had in fact deferred them at some point last year (though possiblynot with the same impact on their lives as it is having with the people who actually milk cows).
The whole thing will rumble on for some considerable time yet, but the general atmosphere at the meeting which was attended by anything up to 200 farmers, was reasonably amiable though many are very worried. We were presented with facts & figures and there was no trying to hide behind statistics & jargon.

We have had a very busy weekend with some of Younger Son's friends, their labradors & girlfriends arriving on Friday for a weekend's shooting. All very jolly. The two visiting dogs are the offspring of my lab Hattie and siblings of Younger Son's lab Jess. It was interesting to see family likenesses so strongly apparent. They are all very good-looking dogs and very well trained and therefore much admired when out in the field.

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