It’s official: Broccoli is good for you. Apparently, doctors believe it contains a chemical which fights prostate cancer.


So all you men of a certain age get down to your supermarket now and buy broccoli every day. Don’t grumble about the price and make sure it’s Scottish – it would please me enormously.

We are in the last week of the broccoli-planting programme. I am always glad to see the back of planting. Next year, I must not put the machine away and forget about it until the week before the start of the campaign. It is not old, but shows signs of wear, so it will need some major surgery.

Despite this, the lads on the machine have done an excellent job and nearly all of the stands of broccoli and cauliflower look good, although they could now do with a drink. Considerable rain is forecast but I am told I should continue to irrigate afterwards. At over 50p/litre for diesel, we shall wait and see.

While away on a week of rest and recuperation with the family, the Borders Crop and Grassland Management Competition was held. Because we somehow managed to win a section last year we were in the “big boys” class and I was slightly nervous about what the judge, fellow columnist (Livestock) Iain Green, would see and comment on, so I was almost glad I was not here.

However, I was delighted to learn that he awarded us a prize for some of our wheat. It is no coincidence that these fields were the ones that had a generous amount of hen manure applied before the previous crop. I hope he enjoyed his day and I am looking forward to a tour around the Jackson family farm at Detchant, Northumberland who were, I have no doubt, very worthy champions.

• Read more from Neil Thomson here.

• See more from Arable Farmer Focus.