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Successful 40th year for North Pembrokeshire Grassland Society

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successful yearTHE annual meeting of the North Pembrokeshire Grassland Society included a summary from the Chair person, Joy Smith, of an organised visit made earlier in the year to agricultural units in Yorkshire, and from Will Prichard who used a bursary from the Society’s Rex Patterson fund to see some of the latest dairy technology being applied in Australia.

Reporting on a hugely successful 40th year programme for NPGS, Joy remarked that the farm tour had included a business who had visions of becoming the most successful integrated animal breeding and farming company in Europe.

Having the business was now one of the largest private, familyowned farming companies in Britain, with a reputation for producing and marketing high yields of quality produce and livestock that achieve very acceptable returns on capital.

Founded just over 50 years ago the company has an annual turnover in excess of £20 million and employs over 220 full-time staff, included are three core businesses –arable farming, pig production and genetics-overseen by a corporate centre comprising 6 directors, 3 of whom are non-executive.

The arable side of the business, she said, which is fully underpinned by technical, marketing, financial and administration support, are responsible for 16,000 acres, either owned or tenanted by the company, or farmed for clients under a farm management agreement. The land grows a variety of crops including cereals, oilseed rape, vining peas, sugar beet, potatoes, and onions.

The pig 18 units, which include the UK’s largest and most environmentally conscious pig genetics base, has 7,800 breeding sows producing 150,000 breeding and slaughter pigs annually sustained by a sound research base dedicated to customer service, veterinary health monitoring and technical support.

Other visits on the 5 day itinerary included a unit where three brothers -who had previously owned 100,000 acres in Russia –now farmed 2,600 acres running a dairy herd of 900 pedigree Holsteins with an annual lactation yield of 9,600kgs, several other dairy farms, a cheese plant and a number of livestock breeders including a 2,000 head beef unit dedicated to using stabilizer bulls and finishing all stock at grass.

Will Prichard presented some fascinating details of the World’s first proto- type commercial robotic milking rotary presently being unveiled by the Swedish dairy equipment company, de Laval, at an al grass pilot farm with 1,300 cows in Tasmania.

The technology has been developed by the FutureDairy project in Australia, a collaboration between de Laval, Dairy Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of Sydney. Featuring five robots, the rotary has a capacity to milk up to 90 cows per hour, and is based on 24 -unit internal, herringbone rotary that enables the robots to reach the cow from the side. With the use of laser technology, the robots focus red light to determine the location of the cow’s teats, clean them and attach the cups.

The first two robots clean and prepare the teats for milking, the second two attach the cups to the teats, and the last robot sprays the teats to disinfect them before the cows leave the platform.

Design of the dairy yard plays an important role in the AMR’s operation – the yards have a series of smaller yards, divided by automatic gates known as smart selection gates (SSGs), which can guide cows in two or three different paths after the milking.

Will assured his audience that the cows wear automatic identification collars or transponders, and when the cows approach the SSG, the system reads the transponder and guides the cow in the direction set in the DELPRO herd management software.

Mrs Smith was warmly thanked for ensuring another successful year for the Society which remained, by far, the largest in Wales and also, last month, hosting –for the first time in Wales -a meeting of the British Grassland Society.

Elected chairman for the coming year was Meurig S Harries with Peter Smith as vice –chairman. The secretary, Cheryl Codd, and treasurer, Dyfrig Davies, were re-elected. Delegates reappointed were Neil Perkins (British Grassland Society) and Jeff Evans (to the Welsh Federation of which he is current chairman).

Awards: Member of the Year, 2013 –Roger Jones, Trenichol, Grassland –Will Prichard, Escalwen and Gerwyn Williams, Swmbarch, New leys – Jonathan and Christopher James, Trefaner (at Trevigan), Clamp Silage –Tim and William James, Farthing’s Hook, Round bales, Roger Jones, Milk production, Roger Ridgway, Clovers and Jeff Evans, Broadmoor.

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Health board: COVID-19 vaccinations will be by appointment only from end of this month

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THE LOCAL health board has announced that from August 31, access to Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire for COVID-19 vaccinations will be by appointment only in preparation for the start of the winter vaccine programme.

Anyone wishing to drop-in for their first or second dose during August is advised to check opening times on the day before travelling by visiting hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/covid-19-information/covid-19-vaccination-programme/mass-vaccination-centres or calling 0300 303 8322 as these are subject to change. If you still require a booster, please wait to be offered an appointment.

From 31 August 2022 onwards, please book an appointment by calling 0300 303 8322 or by emailing COVIDEnquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB), said: “Throughout the vaccination programme we’ve aimed to make the vaccine easily accessible through a combination of drop-ins and appointments. This change will allow us to deliver the COVID-19 in partnership with primary care and minimise the risk of duplication or vaccine waste.

“If you are eligible for an autumn COVID-19 booster, please wait to be invited by either your GP or the health board. Everyone eligible will be offered an appointment by November.

“GP practices are also preparing to invite eligible patients for their seasonal flu vaccine and aim to offer an appointment to everyone eligible by December. Again, please do not contact your GP practice at this time, you will be invited when it is your turn.”

Scheduled drop-in sessions for children and young people who are home-educated or not in education to access childhood vaccinations routinely offered through school nursing teams will continue as advertised at selected MVCs.

The remaining drop-in sessions for children aged 5 to 17 years of age will be held between 12pm and 6pm in the following locations:

Aberystwyth MVC (Thomas Parry Library, Llanbadarn Campus, SY23 3AS) – Tuesday 30 August
Carmarthen MVC (Y Gamfa Wen, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, SA31 3EP) – Friday 2 September
Cwm Cou MVC (Ysgol Trewen, SA38 9PE) – Monday 22 August
Haverfordwest MVC (Pembrokeshire Archives, SA61 2PE) – Wednesday 31 August
Llanelli MVC (Dafen Industrial Estate, SA14 8QW) – Tuesday 23 August
These drop-in sessions are also open to any Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire or Ceredigion school attendees who may have missed their vaccinations.

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions and have any queries or wish for your child to receive their scheduled vaccines, please complete the form available here hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/immunisation-and-vaccination/childhood-and-young-people-vaccinations/vaccine-access-for-home-schooled-children or call 0300 303 8322 to be contacted by a member of the health board’s immunisation nursing team.

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Police appeal for information after man ‘was slapped on the back of the head’

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POLICE in Pembroke Dock are appealing for information after an alleged assault.

A male was slapped to the back of his head outside Lloyds Bank on Monday, August 8, 2022 between 5pm and 5.15pm following an argument with another male.

If you have any information please contact the Police on 101, quoting reference DPP/3231/08/08/2022/02/C

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Gareth Mann from Milford Haven sentenced to seven years in prison for drug offences

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DRUG dealer Gareth James Mann, aged 46, from Bunkers Hill, Milford Haven has been sentenced to a total of 7 years in prison.

A Misuse of Drugs Act search warrant was executed at Manns’ home address on 17th March 2022, where he was found to have controlled drugs including Heroin, Cocaine, Cannabis, Morphine, Pregabalin, Buprenorphine and Diazepam with a combined street value of up to £3660. Cash totalling £3430 was also found in his possession.

He was arrested and later charged with possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and with possession of criminal property.

Garth Mann: Drugs worth £3660, and cash totalling £3430 was found in his possession.

Mann appeared at Llanelli Magistrates court on Friday, March 18 where he entered a not guilty plea. He was remanded in custody to appear at Swansea Crown Court.

Following a 6-day trial Mann was found guilty of all counts by a majority verdict on Monday 15th August 2022 and sentenced to a total of 7 years in custody.

DS Vinny Barrett said told The Herald: “Tackling the supply of illegal drugs is a priority for police in Pembrokeshire and the misery that illegal drugs bring to local communities will not be tolerated.

“We are taking a positive approach in targeting those that supply illegal drugs, and I would encourage anyone with information about the misuse of drugs to contact police.

“This information will be acted upon and will help us in preventing the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that can be associated with them.”

To report suspicious behaviour in your community, visit https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, email 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or call 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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