The Farming Column with Sam Walton

Very few people realise just how much work goes into running a dairy herd.
Very few people realise just how much work goes into running a dairy herd.

It is common knowledge that the dairy industry went through a very hard time for at least a couple of years, probably longer with below the cost of production prices which put many out of business.

What thoughts the everyday user of milk has I do not know but I suspect very few people realise just how hard work it is to run a dairy herd.

It is seven days a week, morning and night routine, every day of the year.

There seems to be a problem looming again, this time not so much on the price but the availability of labour from Europe to actually milk the cows, if there is not a successful Brexit outcome.

So does that mean that the younger generation of UK would be farmers and workers are becoming work shy?

Have we all been spoilt in recent years?

It also seems as if the massive vegetable operations around the Lincolnshire Fens near Boston would also be in dire straits.

I was always told that hard work never hurt anyone and growing up my generation certainly worked hard and were always very fit.

I know because of the visits I have made over the years that parts of Europe are perhaps a bit behind in farming techniques from those we have here, so for them hard work is no problem.

If we do have a problem, I suppose it will put more research into robots.

We already have robotic milking, where the cows take themselves through the milking system around 2.4 times per 24 hours and on the vegetable side, there are robots being developed to control the growing and to do the actual harvesting of the various crops.

I suppose it is all to do with life style these days, hard work is deemed a no no and many seem to want reward for very little input. In the meantime every morning when I pour milk onto my cereals, I thank the dairy industry for their continuing input.