Cyfres gylchgrawn am faterion cefn gwlad. Countryside and farming magazine.
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-The highest number of sheep
-since the turn of the century.
-Has it affected the market?
-There may be too much.
-Where will the lambs go?
-Would you like to save thousands
-on feeding costs?
-We hear from one farmer
-who's succeeded in doing so.
-Many people can do it,
-they just haven't thought about it.
-A problem that many families face -
-It's a sad situation. We discuss it
-as a family every now and then.
-We haven't found the answer yet.
-At the last count, there were
-10 million sheep in Wales.
-It's the highest number
-for 15 years.
-Is this good news for the sector?
-It's a busy day in Ruthin Mart.
-Farmers are eager to get
-the best prices for their stock.
-Numbers fell during the time
-we had the Foot and Mouth disease.
-After that, numbers increased again.
-Do all these sheep make a difference
-in the marketplace?
-Any rise in numbers increases demand
-for different markets.
-We must remember that we
-import lambs from New Zealand.
-The numbers of sheep in New Zealand
-had dropped dramatically.
-They were down a million and a half
-There's a market here, there's
-a place for them in the market...
-..but yes, the numbers
-make a difference to the prices.
-With a higher number, more sales
-are needed which affects the price.
-Meat Promotion Wales
-keeps an eye on the industry.
-They're also responsible
-for marketing the lamb.
-How have they responded
-to the recent rise in numbers?
-Numbers have reached 10 million.
-The market has been relatively
-buoyant in recent times...
-..and sales of lamb
-have been quite high...
-..especially on the continent.
-have been very strong too.
-At the same time...
-..we've seen a drop in the number
-of suckler cows in Wales.
-That's also an important factor.
-If farmers don't keep cattle,
-they keep more sheep.
-That's why we have so many of them.
-Back in the mart,
-we catch up with Rhys Hughes...
-..a Llangollen farmer.
-There may well be too many,
-there may well be too many.
-Where will all the lambs go?
-There's a market for the best lambs
-but not for those under 30kgs.
-There's no market
-for them this year.
-There was no market
-for them last year.
-It is a big worry.
-Meat Promotion Wales tell us we have
-to change our system of farming...
-..and breed heavier lambs
-but it's not easy on the hills.
-Is having 10 million sheep in Wales
-affecting your business?
-Yes, there are too many sheep.
-The market for small lambs...
-..has been troublesome
-over the past three years.
-There was a strong market in
-Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
-Those markets have changed
-for different reasons.
-Economies in those countries aren't
-as strong as they were 10 years ago.
-Business is being done but
-that business is often undermined...
-..by produce coming in
-from Bulgaria and Romania.
-The market has changed.
-We'll have to adapt the way
-we supply those markets.
-Despite an increase in sheep numbers
-with more being exported...
-..last year, lamb sales fell by 10%
-in Great Britain last year.
-Are we overproducing?
-I wouldn't say so.
-There are more in the market but
-you have to change with the times...
-if prices fall...
-..the only way to increase income
-is to produce more.
-That's natural in life.
-I wouldn't call it overproducing.
-Farmers are just producing animals
-that don't fit market demand.
-What we produce is still the same...
-..and what the customer consumes
-in Great Britain is also the same...
-..but a greater proportion of
-what we produce has been exported.
-Exports have increased
-due to the weakness of the pound...
-..compared to two years ago.
-That's why the price of lamb eaten
-and bought in shops in Britain...
-..has fallen a little.
-When you produce something,
-you expect a fair price for it.
-You don't want to be offered
-1/kilo for lambs in a mart.
-That's what happened today, locally.
-The price has bottomed out now.
-Is there a future in Wales for
-the small lamb? Is there a future?
-If there's no future, where do I go?
-Many farmers feel the same.
-From the mart in Ruthin
-Alun's met a farmer
-trialling a new system on his farm.
-At this time of year, we start
-to regret our New Year resolutions.
-Most people want to save money
-and lose weight.
-I have no problems losing weight,
-but today I'm visiting a farm...
-..that's cut 6,000
-from its cattle winterising bill.
-Arthur and Menna Williams
-farm Carwed Fynydd...
-..a 400-acre farm consisting
-of 120 cattle and 900 Lleyn sheep.
-Last year, they looked at ways
-of reducing costs.
-After feeding kale since 2010...
-..Arthur now grows fodder beet...
-..in the hope
-of keeping cattle out longer.
-When you turned the cattle
-to that crop for the first time...
-..how did you control
-how much they ate?
-There must have been a lot
-You can't just turn them
-to fodder beet.
-There's a lot of work to do.
-We initially put the breeding
-heifers on the fodder beet.
-We put them in
-and lifted the fodder beet by hand.
-We fed them
-and increased the amount every day.
-We would increase the amount
-until they were eating it properly.
-We made sure they didn't eat
-too much leading to acidosis.
-With the kale, you could turn
-the cattle to kale right away.
-That's a big advantage
-with the kale.
-Seven and a half acres of the farm
-was sown with Robbos fodder beet...
-..to see if it was more productive
-We have 23 breeding heifers on it.
-It will sustain them for 120 days.
-They've been on it
-since the beginning of December.
-There's room for 500 lamb ewes
-for 70 days.
-As well as reducing feeding costs
-..you're cutting sheep costs too.
-What happened to the sheep
-We've been sending 600 lamb ewes
-to Chester on tack.
-We still send some, just in case
-the fodder beet didn't work.
-We'll be sending less next time
-and growing more fodder beet.
-Today, Farming Connect
-have organised an open day...
-..to show the results
-of the experiment.
-Emyr Owen has been crucial
-during this process.
-He's the Red Meat Technical Officer
-for North Wales.
-I was hoping to see half the land
-used to grow fodder beet.
-Because it produces so much
-..it would ultimately
-prove cheaper than kale...
-..because kale requires more land.
-that's exactly what's happened.
-It's not for everyone but a lot of
-people have the ability to do it.
-They just haven't thought about it.
-Can it become a problem
-when there's challenging weather...
-..or the ground is being compacted
-because there's so much trampling?
-You should just take it as it comes.
-Just be as proactive as you can be
-when you're managing stock.
-The cattle do much
-of the maintenance work for you...
-..you're not burning diesel and it's
-a great system if you can do it.
-One of the guest speakers,
-..is an expert at growing crops.
-A good turnout, Charlie, an audience
-keen to learn something different.
-People are realising now
-that things have to change.
-what the future holds...
-..but they know that if they do the
-same thing, they'll go backwards.
-They have to ask
-how are they going to change...
-..what's the answer for them
-in the future...
-..and how much
-they are willing to spend.
-Hay is 120-130 per tonne.
-If you want to build a shed,
-that incurs a great cost.
-If you're looking
-for flexibility within a system...
-..when you grow a crop like this,
-you can change things.
-Some people are talking about
-keeping more cattle and less sheep.
-Is that fair or not?
-You have the flexibility here
-without having to spend too much.
-It's been an eye-opener to see how
-one business has helped cut costs.
-What did farmers think
-about the day?
-The yield is good but I'm worried
-about spraying on the slopes.
-There are places you can drill
-but you can't go there to spray.
-You need to spray it three times.
-Paul, looking at the set-up here, is
-it suitable for your land at home?
-Very unlikely, with three times
-the amount of rain they have here.
-I don't think so,
-my land is much heavier.
-It does make you think
-about what you can grow.
-That's why I asked the question.
-If neither fodder beet and kale
-are options, swedes are an option.
-It's made you think differently.
-I've grown the odd year of kale
-over the past few years.
-I'm very interested in fodder beet.
-From what I've understood today...
-..it does require more work.
-There are more costs, spraying work
-and more feeding work.
-It has its uses and it's worth a lot
-to cattle as feed.
-It's early days on the fodder beet.
-You'll still want to calve cattle
-on this system.
-That's the future.
-That's cost effective.
-This is pioneering.
-After all, if you can save 6,000
-of costs in one year...
-..it's a substantial saving.
-Yes, it is.
-You save money
-by not sending sheep out on tack.
-If there's any chance to save money,
-you should try something new.
-It's nice to see farmers adapting
-their businesses for the future.
-Next, the latest about bird flu.
-Following the announcement
-that bird flu had been detected...
-..in two locations in England...
-..Defra has extended the bird flu
-prevention zone across England.
-The risk level for poultry
-was raised to medium...
-..and for wild birds to high.
-Cabinet Secretary for Energy,
-Planning and Rural Affairs...
-..Lesley Griffiths, has decided
-that there is no reason...
-..to declare statutory controls
-in Wales at the moment.
-will be closely monitored.
-should remain vigilant....
-..and adhere to the strict
-That's all for Part 1.
-Join me later for a subject that
-can cause concern for families.
-See you soon.
-We're not getting any younger.
-The question of succession,
-who will be here to farm after us...
-..is a question worrying
-more than one family farm.
-The same worry exists
-at Trefaes Fawr, Newcastle Emlyn.
-Here, Huw and Carys
-have farmed for 40 years.
-They have four daughters.
-As part of her journalism course
-in Cardiff University...
-..youngest daughter Elen
-reported on this subject.
-I had to write an article
-as part of the coursework.
-They said "write what you know".
-It would be easy for me
-to get information from Dad...
-..and it would be easy for me
-to add my own input.
-A lot of people
-are thinking about the future.
-In terms of writing the article,
-have you had any added pressure...
-..about the future of the farm -
-does it worry you?
-It does worry me but it's difficult
-for me to come up with an answer.
-I've chosen to study
-Welsh and Journalism in Cardiff.
-It makes me wonder whether
-I could come back to the farm.
-I don't think it's something
-you can easily do on your own.
-I couldn't come home
-to start farming on my own.
-It's a large farm.
-It's a lot of work.
-Tell us your story.
-How did you get into farming?
-Well, I was an only child.
-Dad and Mam were farmers.
-I didn't think anymore about it.
-I walked into it quite easily.
-I enjoyed farming anyway.
-I would join Dad all the time.
-I was following him everywhere
-from a young age.
-From then on, that's all I knew.
-I stayed very close to home.
-My parents farmed and they wanted me
-to do something beyond farming.
-They hoped I'd come back to farming
-after other experiences.
-I had the chance to work
-in a bank...
-..so I took it to get experience
-of the other side of life.
-A farm was coming up from Tad-cu,
-I was working on that farm
-for some of the year.
-I kept 100 sheep on rented land so I
-had that when I came home from work.
-I then made the decision
-to come home to farm.
-I met Carys at the same time
-and I've been farming ever since.
-Those are the experiences of Huw
-and Carys but what of the future?
-We do worry that no-one
-will succeed us on the farm.
-We must think
-about taking things more gently.
-We won't be able to keep going
-during the lambing season.
-We lamb 1,500 - we can't continue
-doing it as we get older.
-What's the answer if you want
-to attract new blood to farming?
-We're getting the same price for our
-produce but our costs have doubled.
-That makes it difficult for people
-who want to become farmers.
-It's a large cost initially...
-..and you have no guarantee
-for the price of your produce.
-It doesn't give anyone
-any confidence in farming.
-Three of Carys and Huw's daughters
-have chosen other career paths.
-Nerys is a doctor,
-Gwawr's a nurse...
-..and Sara works
-for Ceredigion Council.
-I decided when I was choosing
-A Level subjects...
-..that I wanted to become a doctor.
-That was a turning point.
-I knew I faced many years
-I don't think anyone studies
-for five years, sits the exams...
-..and then turns their back on it
-and returns to farming.
-I decided I wanted to become a GP.
-That's what I'm doing now
-in Pontyclun, Llantrisant.
-I have no intention of farming
-ever again, to be honest.
-I never knew what I wanted to do
-when I was in school.
-I chose my subjects
-and Mam and Dad...
-to do well in school...
-..and to study in university.
-I did a nursing degree.
-I'm now a community nurse
-The experience of being raised
-on a farm, it was brilliant.
-I enjoyed every minute.
-I enjoyed the motorbike,
-I enjoyed going around the fields.
-When you're in your teens,
-the situation changes.
-We grew up
-and learnt how to cook supper.
-My memory of the lambing season...
-..is Mam and Dad in the shed
-every hour of the day and night.
-They'd come in for supper
-I'd cooked at 8.00pm.
-Supper in the oven.
-They'd come in at 10.00pm.
-We'd usually eat supper together but
-that never happened during lambing.
-They were out all the time.
-I've never said
-I wouldn't come back...
-..but I go to work, 9 to 5.
-When I leave work, I leave work
-behind and start again the next day.
-Mam and Dad are in work
-all the time.
-It's 24 hours a day,
-seven days a week.
-Like I said, it's a way of life.
-I think life is easier for my
-sisters who have a settled life...
-..when you compare it
-to Mam and Dad.
-Nerys is a doctor,
-she earns a wage...
-..she knows how much she earns
-She's on maternity at the moment.
-Had she been a farmer, the baby
-would be out with her all the time.
-She wouldn't receive
-any maternity pay.
-She would have to keep going
-on the farm.
-Only by working
-would she earn money.
-Looking to the future, would you
-want to see your daughters...
-..coming back to the farm
-and leaving their way of life?
-It would be nice, yes.
-That's what gives you pleasure.
-It would be nice to see them back
-but I can't see it happening...
-..the way farming is going
-We're not making big profits.
-They work 9 to 5, they know
-where they stand every week.
-They enjoy coming home,
-they enjoy working on the farm.
-It's another thing to work here
-every day of the week.
-It's a sad situation. I don't think
-we've found the answer yet.
-We discuss it as a family
-every now and then.
-We haven't found the answer yet.
-I feel guilty that none of us
-will return to farming.
-These are family farms.
-These farms have sentimental value.
-They've been passed down
-through the generations.
-They're also homes for us.
-It's sad to think that the farm
-won't stay in our family...
-..for generations to come.
-It's a concern shared by families
-If you're wondering what to do
-with your farm in the future...
-..get in touch with us
-so we can hear your story.
-That's all for this week.
-Join us again next Monday night.
-Thanks for joining us. Goodnight.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
Cyfres gylchgrawn am faterion cefn gwlad. Countryside and farming magazine.