It’s no secret that some supermarket milk buyers are heaping more and more stringent demands on milk producers – but some are making more sense than others!

Alarm bells are ringing all around the world as a result of bacterial resistance from the misuse of drugs in livestock farming, to some of the most important and potentially lifesaving antibiotics in human medicine. Farm animals account for around a third of all antibiotics used in the UK.

Cue for more and more processors now looking for farmers to stop using them as a means for drying off cows. In principle, the idea is sound, however I find it hard to believe it can be delivered 100%.

It’s not being advocated that antibiotic drying off is stopped completely – well, not yet anyway! We all know that most cases of mastitis occur in the first month of lactation, however cows which have just gone dry or are close to calving are susceptible too – and no-one with a cow with a chronic high cell count would want to dry her off without tubing her with an antibiotic.

Let’s say you have a cow with a cell count of more than 150,000. Would you dry her off with something like Orbaseal and then not worry? With the best will in the world, there will always be the risk of infection and in my mind, prevention is better than cure.

If antibiotic dry cow therapy is banned all together and a cow goes on to develop mastitis and, worst case scenario, it’s severe (e-coli), which can prove fatal, this scenario will lead to even more antibiotic use to get back in control of the infection? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t see how this can be classed in the 'efficiency' bracket.

The aim of the game is to preserve life, not snuff it out. I don’t doubt that the vast majority of farmers are committed to reducing their use, however there is still a need for them.

Take Draxxin for instance – it's a life-saver in cases of pneumonia. A silly wee bottle is in the region of £150 – would you use it for the hell of it?

And so to other things and the Brexit panto continues. Regardless of what happens amidst this utter shambles in Westminster, unless the UK stays in, farmers in England will see direct payments removed by 2028.

The situation for farmers here, in Northern Ireland and Wales, isn’t yet clear. Are we prepared for life without direct payments?

All this uncertainty makes planning for the future very difficult. That said, it will make many of us take a long, hard view of our current businesses performance with direct payments and whether we could survive without them. Will your business be resilient to this change, need to adapt or worst-case scenario, will it survive?

I read a comment recently and we could all take a leaf out of this man’s book: "We have to consistently review all we do, building on the foundations of good cows, a strong team and an efficient system." The cows aside, any business would do well to adopt this strategy.

Speaking of which, the Scottish Farm Business Income estimates for 2017/18 were published early last month and showed, incredibly, that more than half of farms in Scotland have diversified. I don’t doubt some of these farmers have done it because they wanted to, but many of them will have done so because they’ve had to. Those who have, are said to be generating around 66% more income than those who haven’t!

Well done to David and Clare Jones for a highly successful and lucrative dispersal of their Wiltor Holstein herd. The sale was topped at 43,000gns, the highest price for a milking female in the UK for many years. Who wouldn’t have wanted to be the owner of that particular female? It was also a good day for cow sales from East Logan, Eastford Holsteins and Gary Jones

Pass me the pen please ... I need to sign the petition for Chris Packham to be sacked as a BBC presenter. An online petition has already gathered thousands (more than 35,000) of signatures as farmers, incensed by someone who has become a bete noire for agriculture.

Mr Packham's latest 'baby', Wild Justice, is causing a furore. The ardent green campaigner is pushing hard the radical proposals set out in the ‘People’s manifesto for wildlife’. Some of the suggestions are viable and make some sense, but the majority would be catastrophic for nature.

We’ve come a long way since the 1930s yet, in essence, one measure – the ban on the shooting of corvids and other destructive pests – is set to drive upland farmers from their land so the government can rewild it. Other demands include stopping the badger cull and launching a public education campaign to reduce meat consumption.

Why are policy makers hell bent on listening to celebrities instead of the people who actually live and work in the countryside? I worked for Auntie Beeb for more than 20 years and always remember being told as a young reporter 'you are here to report the facts, not to give your opinion'.

Why? – because the BBC is publicly funded by us, the taxpayer. Therefore, as an employee of the BBC, Mr Packham should keep his views and beliefs to himself and remember who pays his salary!

Alas, our Scottish hopes were dashed at the European championships in Libramont. First, the UK team destined for Belgium were withdrawn after the risk in attending became too high' following a recent outbreak of bluetongue. This had to be a devastating decision, as I know how much time and effort goes into getting these cows ready.

However, a few days later Holstein UK then made a u-turn and four cows travelled under strict post show quarantine rules. There were great results for Gary Jones and Evening Holsteins.

And finally, back to the economics of milk production and an Australian Professor of Economics has told us the price of milk should be way higher for everyone. Really? – tell us something we don’t know!

Prof John Quiggin said if milk prices kept up with inflation, consumers would have to fork out an extra 46c per litre (that's about 25p more than they currently do).

Like our own supermarkets, Australian ones, especially the big chains, have used milk as a loss-leader – an item they can advertise very cheaply in order to get customers through the door. Given the fact that 99% of people buy milk because they need it, means that it doesn’t have to be a loss leader.

Year on year the price of cigarettes and alcohol rises and guess what, the consumer still buys them. Milk – within reason – could be dearer and people would still buy it.

Supermarkets are like sheep, one does it and all the rest follow. So, come on, who’s going to be first?