my dairy has been going downhill for years

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hello, my dairy has been getting worse in recent years even pre Covid, I'm finding it hard to find workers and the welfare has gone right downhill, I honestly feel so depressed and I don't know what to do about it, I'm not making any profit and only losses year after year, my farm isn't in the best condition and I'm also in a partnership with a college which doesn't help as I can't expand my farm much more with college walls either side of me, and all these students from their high welfare farms judging me and my farm constantly and I don't know what to do I need help please, Dorset, England
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
Do you actually want to carry on or do you not know how to fix it but can't? I wouldn't think expansion is the answer when you are struggling at present and cannot get staff.
Get yourself some help - GP, neighbour, the college, vet - then start to make a list of what needs fixed, even just a few small things which will make a difference.
Good luck
 

Jdunn55

Member
One piece of advice, don't worry about what the neighbour is doing or what students think of you, it will just make you feel beneath them. Concrete palaces with shiny machinery come crashing down much faster and harder than those who have the odd gate tied up with baler twine.

I'm a self-confessed sh!t farmer, do not worry, you're far from alone if you think you're the only one struggling with making ends meet or finding staff or even just keeping on top of things.

Regarding staff, any chance you could use the students from the college to help?
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
hello, my dairy has been getting worse in recent years even pre Covid, I'm finding it hard to find workers and the welfare has gone right downhill, I honestly feel so depressed and I don't know what to do about it, I'm not making any profit and only losses year after year, my farm isn't in the best condition and I'm also in a partnership with a college which doesn't help as I can't expand my farm much more with college walls either side of me, and all these students from their high welfare farms judging me and my farm constantly and I don't know what to do I need help please, Dorset, England
Sell up, its not worth it
 
Location
East Mids
Chat on here as much as you like, as well as the support agencies suggested above. Just talking does help things churning over. The Prince's Countryside Fund can also probably help with some advice and support https://www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/how-we-help/family-farm-businesses/. Are you able to access any relief labour at a quieter time of year so you can have a bit of time away from the farm to reflect without the pressure of daily jobs getting in the way?

Another alternative is through a discussion group - depending how open you want to be - can the College facilitate this?

If your heart is not in it, even after reflection, then you are better to plan an exit - how you do this will depend on your circumstances, tenure etc, is there an opportunity to offer share farming or joint venture to someone? No one wants to see poor welfare and this is obviously playing on your mind, which is to your credit and your financial situation will probably not improve with BPS going and with the current pressures in the market place, Red Tractor etc.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
hello, my dairy has been getting worse in recent years even pre Covid, I'm finding it hard to find workers and the welfare has gone right downhill, I honestly feel so depressed and I don't know what to do about it, I'm not making any profit and only losses year after year, my farm isn't in the best condition and I'm also in a partnership with a college which doesn't help as I can't expand my farm much more with college walls either side of me, and all these students from their high welfare farms judging me and my farm constantly and I don't know what to do I need help please, Dorset, England

To save you having to search for a number

FCN
03000 111999

Calls will be answered in person from 7am-11pm every day of the year
 

Tamar

Member
If you are in partnership with a collage, surely they should be able to help .

Are they not run by Velcourt ? Might be worth speaking to them and come up with a beneficial plan for you.

Good luck
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
just chat on here, its great fun, with good advice.
on the labour side, virtually everybody has problems, we cannot get staff, our answer was to cut herd size by over half, til we can manage ourselves,
No good beating your head against a brick wall, good staff, are like hens teeth to find.
as for students, just tell them, 'this is the result, of years of low milk prices', and ask them for a solution, without spending mega money, their answers might give you some hilarious reading, or, actually find a solution.
Any action, is usually better, than no action, plenty of help, is out there, as given above, use it, that's what its there fore.
 

DairyNerd

Member
Livestock Farmer
I would echo a lot if what has been said already about FCN if you are struggling, there is no shame in that.

If you want to keep dairy farming then don't think that no one else has these problems. Ignore the students, listen to people who want to help. There are some good discussion groups out there and you can pick up good things on here too.

It's my first year farming on my own, 45 cows. The farm is old, the parlour is old but gets the milk out of the cows. Don't beat yourself up thinking that expansion, the latest shiny kit or big yields is the answer. You do not need to pump money in to milk more cows if you already have a set up. Focus on the basic drivers of profit; feed costs, fertility, labour, machinery costs etc.... Not knowing much about your farm this may be easier if you reduce numbers and focus on cutting costs rather than expanding. Our annual milk sales are less than some farms would get in a month but I wouldn't want the stress of that many cows, staffing and i don't see that as a problem or lack of ambition.
 
Ring FCN pronto and get a GP appointment ASAP, in fact, I'd be inclined to ring 111 immediately and tell them you need immediate mental health support.

EDIT: I think the moderators need to edit the OP because information contained within it does not leave much anonymity for what is clearly a very delicate situation.
 

farmboy

Member
Location
Dorset
I’m not sure about this. I know the area very well as there’s only one Ag college in Dorset that I know of? The OPs username is very similar to the name of the college farms manager’s?? Would he really want to post something like this that employers could potentially see? Or is this some kind of wind up? Don’t want to be disrespectful and in some ways I hope I’m wrong but in other ways I obviously hope this isn’t a genuine post. If the OP does want someone to talk to I’m not far away
 
I’m not sure about this. I know the area very well as there’s only one Ag college in Dorset that I know of? The OPs username is very similar to the name of the college farms manager’s?? Would he really want to post something like this that employers could potentially see? Or is this some kind of wind up? Don’t want to be disrespectful and in some ways I hope I’m wrong but in other ways I obviously hope this isn’t a genuine post. If the OP does want someone to talk to I’m not far away

I had the exact same thoughts on the OP.
 

Luke Rake

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hi - I'm the Principal of the college in question - Kingston Maurward. The profile of the OP was created on Monday and this is clearly a wind-up by a student, which is a shame as it's a serious subject. I am left wondering if they used their own photo, which may have been unwise... ;0)

Thanks to those who have answered sensibly, my farm manager who's name they have cannibalised has laughed this off and appreciated that people would care - for those who are interested, our dairy continues to meet M&S Gold Standard and is doing very well thanks, notwithstanding the usual challenges of managing livestock and the vagaries of inflation and all the fun that farming always brings.

Cheers, Luke
 
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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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