At last, the local pub reopened on 12 April for outdoor drinkers, so I took the lads for several well-deserved beers on the way home from work that day.

It’s been a long hard grind these past 12 months of all work and no play.

This pandemic has really made me think that we should all do more to support local small businesses such as the local pub and small shop – definitely a case of use them or lose them.

This equally applies to British farming – if our government and consumers do not support our products and would rather buy on price, then British livestock farmers are doomed, in my opinion.

See also: How realistic is free-farrowing for the UK pig industry?

At the start of May we were desperately in need of rain in Lincolnshire for the spring-sown crops. They were struggling badly, and it was the driest April I can ever remember. 

We’ve rented a holiday house in the Lake District for a week’s holiday next week, so no doubt the dry spell in Cumbria will end. I just hope the rain then crosses the Pennines and helps the eastern side of the country.

Being a Cumbrian lad, I have been saddened to see attempts being made to close Newton Rigg College, where I did my agricultural course nearly 45 years ago.

It certainly benefited me and, although it didn’t steer me into pig farming, it certainly steered me away from looking after Herdwicks on the high fells.

Agriculture desperately needs more young entrants and closing agricultural colleges doesn’t make sense to me.

The pigs are continuing to perform well in all areas, as I mentioned last month, although my optimism on feed prices and pig prices has taken a hit on drought concerns.

And, while finisher prices are starting to edge up, cull sow prices have fallen owing to Covid issues in Germany.

All being well, we will be crossing the Humber bridge and going to Driffield Show in July. It will be taking place over two days for the first time in its history, so that it can provide half capacity each day and thereby provide a Covid-19-safe event.

David Owers is a Farmer Focus writer in Lincolnshire. Read his biography.