Andrew in the fog© Tim Scrivener

What to do with all of that extra time in the office? That is the question that our recent upgrade to superfast broadband has posed.

It’s just amazing; no more making a cup of tea while waiting for downloads, and using the Rural Land Register maps to complete the BPS form has almost been a pleasure. Click on the parcel number and it’s there. 

That is of course tempered with an element of sarcasm; it would be if the map on the screen actually matched what is on the ground.

See also: Read more from our arable Farmer Focus writers

Individual and completely separate fields amalgamated with their neighbours, pony paddocks sub-divided with temporary electric fencing and very many other frustrations detract from the delight of actually being able to view the map.

I wonder how many more mapping exercises we will have to go through before we actually get the true size of the farm.

We shouldn’t be messing around mapping to the nearest square metre if farming isn’t going to be supported in the future.

Spring has sprung

Now that spring eventually appears to have arrived, I hope you have all managed to challenge nature by sowing crops later than is generally regarded as optimum.

Let’s hope the season does balance out through the year so the late-planted crops can make up for lost time. 

Winter cereals are romping through their growth stages. Root crops, including sugar beet, are also giving it a good go, especially those that were planted in mid-April. 

I look forward to seeing you all at the revamped and re-energised Cereals event next month. 

I wonder what the principal themes will be – no doubt how we can get more from less, how to enhance our environment and how to make more profit while providing cheaper food. Or am I just being an old sceptic?

Just one month after the Health and Harmony consultation will surely be too early to have our responses and come out with a plan regardless.


Andrew Blenkiron manages the 4,400ha Euston Estate, south of Thetford. Principal farm enterprises are combinable and root crops, including sugar beet. In addition the estate supports let land, sheep, outdoor pigs, poultry, suckler cows, horses and stewardship.