Roll on spring time, please. I”m fed up sitting in front of my computer and want to take my mind off the single farm payment, tenancies, contract farming proposals and entry level schemes.

Spare a thought for those poor souls working for DEFRA implementing and administering these massive changes. What do they do take their minds off it all?

 Do they, like me, seriously wonder how this new system is going to work, let alone how long it is going to work for?

Do they also ask themselves how we got into this situation and what on earth has it all got to do with farming and producing food? How do they view the EU and how much blame do they attribute to it?

I seriously sometimes wonder if we hadn”t joined, would we all have been earning about half what we earn now, but would be better off because things would cost less?

And how long will it be before we form a new EEC within the EU for the founder members to get back to its original concept of providing farmers with some return on investment and a reasonable living?

 Perhaps I should change the subject, before I end up on the floor with my arms and legs in the air.

Many thanks to Bruce Hopkins Ltd for a very pleasant trip recently, to the Massey Ferguson factory in France. It was interesting to see how tractor specifications varied, depending on which country they are built for.

 But what struck me most was there is no chance of the French having ELS. Except for the odd wood, there are no hedges or ditches between Calais and Paris.

 The French just have large, featureless fields and lots of pylons because, I am informed, they had no Enclosures Act. That must make life easier for their DEFRA for a start.

richardward@homefarm59.fsnet.co.uk