By Matt Donald, pig & poultry producer, north Yorkshire
I hope you have all managed to relax to some extent over the festive period and find some time away from farming where possible. Having one of the two breeder sites empty over Christmas has meant everyone here has had a chance to take a breather and although we have been busy washing out, not having as many eggs to pack at Christmas was a treat. We are lucky our team all muck in on the different bank holidays to get the job done quickly and correctly.
As I look to 2023, I hope for the poultry and egg market things start to improve. We aim to start construction of a new breeder unit if things remain settled and construction costs are stable, as the bare site hasn’t produced an income yet since it was purchased two years ago. We still need a crystal ball to know where wheat is going but if the highs of £300 stay away then I’m sure there are margins to be made throughout this year.
A recent electricity contract renewal has been eye wateringly painful to sign up to. Time will tell if we have done the right thing or should have waited, the problem is electricity prices may dwindle down slowly but one shock news story out of Ukraine and the price spikes could be far more dramatic than any gentle price easing.
I still have anger at the national grid as our solar capacity has been reached because of the limitations of their cables. If there was more capacity, our roof space could yield so much more without using land space.
I always like to have a few New Year’s resolutions, one of which will be to always make a map of new underground pipework and drains, following a recent hunt. As others look to resolutions, will we be lucky enough that the supermarkets New Year’s resolutions are to be more fair?