The fencing contractors have been here for the past few weeks. Surprisingly, the tractor and post-knocker can cross the fields without leaving too much of a mark.

We’re concentrating on a few boundary fences. For sheep purposes, they would have been fine for a few more years, but for our cows, often kept to graze the pastures down fairly tight at certain times of the year, the fences could easily be challenged.

It’s better for neighbourly relationships to renew fencing before it becomes an issue.

A problem would most probably arise at a very inconvenient time, when we’re really busy, or when we’re off on holiday next year.

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About the author

Dafydd Parry Jones
Dafydd Parry Jones and wife Glenys, Machynlleth, Powys, run a closed flock of 750 Texel and Aberfield cross ewes and 70 Hereford cross sucklers cows on 180ha. Their upland organic system uses Hereford bulls, Charollais terminal sires and red clover silage, multispecies leys and rotational grazing.

As they say, “A good neighbour is a good fence”. But my belief is, a very good neighbour is a double fence and a tall hedge.

Over the next few years, we will hopefully hedge and double-fence our boundaries, and find Welsh government schemes to help us.

Cattle housed for winter

In early November, the young cattle were brought into the buildings for the winter.

They were taken through the cattle crush for weighing, and to shave their heads, ears, backs and tails.

As the handling system is located inside the shed, this is quite a pleasant job on a wet and windy autumn day.

A lorry load of finished cattle left the farm in late October. These had not achieved the required fatness and weight earlier in the year, and therefore had the summer months to be finished.

The extra weight achieved with these older cattle was warmly welcomed, as it reflected positively in the payment.

However, I did feel that we had their company for far too long.

The cows and calves were housed last weekend before Storm Debi came to batter us even more. We had to bring them in on the weekend when we had labour to help walk them down a three-mile tarmac road.

Once the cows knew they were coming in, they knew exactly where to go, and it only took half an hour for them to complete the hike.

A five-month housed winter feels long, but it soon passes.

As we say round here, Daw eto haul ar fryn (“The sun will soon return”).