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FUW Flintshire discusses farming issues with MEP

Farmers’ Union of Wales Flintshire members and officials recently enjoyed a farm visit to Fforest Farm, Cilcain, (Friday, October 10) run by FUW members Harry Williams and his son Robin who have embraced new technology on their 260 cow dairy unit to discuss farming issues with Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans.

fuw flintshire members

L to R – FUW director of policy Nick Fenwick, FUW president Emyr Jones, FUW Flintshire county president Clwyd Spencer, FUW Flintshire county chairman Tim Faire, Jill Evans MEP, FUW members Harry Williams and Robin Williams and FUW farm diversification committee chairman Eurwyn Roberts – pictured in the purpose-built calf rearing shed

Farmers’ Union of Wales Flintshire members and officials recently enjoyed a farm visit to Fforest Farm, Cilcain, (Friday, October 10) run by FUW members Harry Williams and his son Robin who have embraced new technology on their 260 cow dairy unit to discuss farming issues with Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans.

Accompanied by FUW Flintshire county officials, the union’s president Emyr Jones and FUW director of policy Nick Fenwick, Ms Evans was given a tour of the farm yard including the biomass boiler which provides the farm’s heating and hot water requirements.

“The biomass boiler is also linked to the new milk pasteuriser, which enables the family to rear their calves more economically and to higher welfare and health standards,” said FUW Denbighshire and Flintshire county executive officer Rhys Roberts.

“We found it very interesting to also see the purpose-built calf rearing shed, which has reduced the risk of calf mortality from pneumonia and provides a high-welfare environment for the young stock.

“Robin explained how their investment in a slurry separator system, due to the farm’s location within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) has resulted in improved utilisation of their slurry and a noticeable difference in grass production due to application of the liquid element using an injector system on their slurry tanker,” added Mr Roberts.

“The solids that are separated from the liquids are now easier to carry out to our arable land for application at the optimum time. A large proportion of our land is located away from the main holding and this makes transporting this valuable commodity much easier. A large storage lagoon means that the liquid element can be applied just when the grass needs it and not simply when the storage becomes too full,” said Robin Williams.

After a visit to the milking parlour, the guests discussed various topics around the kitchen table over a cup of tea kindly provided by Ann Williams.

“The main concern we highlighted to Jill Evans was the current downward trend in milk prices, and the increasing volatility which will result from the abolition of milk quota in 2015.  These factors will impact on producers such as Fforest Farm who are making significant investments in their business in order to compete within the marketplace, but are not being rewarded with a fair price from the processors and retailers,” added Mr Roberts.

 

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