The following is a press release from RASE its regarding a soils and water survey there would like farmers to complete. You may remember that I posted a blog about attending a meeting about trying to get a conference and some practice on-farm demonstrations up and running, well this is the first step. The idea is to tailor the program to suit the needs and thoughts of these who it indents to benefit. As mentioned previously I think it’s a fine idea, especially practical open days which in people can come and see drainage being installed. If you have a few spare moments the soil and water survey is now live.....
“RASE launches nationwide survey to probe levels of soil and water management
A nationwide survey of farmers in arable and grassland regions is to be carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England as it launches a major initiative to help improve the management of soil and water resources across UK agriculture.
Climate change, rising costs and consumer demand for minimising the environmental impact of food production all make the management of soil and water resources a vital area for farming in the years ahead, says RASE.
The Society has highlighted these issues through a succession of reports from its Practice with Science Group. Now it wishes to help every farmer improve the management of their soil and water resources so boosting farm outputs and ultimately profitability.
“Since RASE published its report on the state of UK soil science in 2008, soil management has risen up the agenda – both in terms of R&D and in farmer awareness of its overall importance. Unless soils are well managed, all other farming activity is under pressure - winters are longer on livestock farms; establishment and autumn cultivation more difficult for arable farmers,” said RASE Chief Executive, Denis Chamberlain.
“RASE is launching two-years of activity in this area with a major, interactive conference planned for autumn of this year, followed by some regional, practical on-farm days in 2013. The research, which will be carried out by telephone and on line, will probe farmers activity in drainage and winter water storage.”
The key areas this research will cover include:
· What the major concerns are for different types of farmers in different parts of the country relating to soil and water management
· Exactly what measures farmers are currently taking to manage their soil and water resources
· How farmers plan to manage the challenges posed by extreme weather patterns
· What drainage investment has been made in the past 15 years
· What plans are in place for drainage, water for irrigation and water storage in future.
“Water has to be treated as a scarce resource. Farming uses a significant share of the UK’s available water so the industry has to make its case that it is managing the resources effectively and doing all within its power to make its use of water sustainable,” said Mr Chamberlain.
Back to work is always surprisingly hectic. In part because of the jobs which were left unfinished before Christmas, in part because of the enquires which come in when are off and also because this is the one time of the year when we can program work with certainly as the date of our return is set.
It can be very difficult to give an exact date to when we will turn up and start a job. Whilst predicting how long a job will take is possible there are so many factors which can cause the program to be altered, the most annoying is break downs. We try to keep our kit in good working order and everything has a maintenance program, but as long as machines are working they will break down at some point, worst still, often if one machine breaks down it will prevent others from working, for example if there is a problem with the drainage machine, nine times out of ten, the contract grinds to a halt. Often clients will add or subtract from a job, other times contracts can be far harder than predicted, for example the ground might be surprisingly rocky.
Normally estimates and promises that your job is next on the list suffice, but when dealing with officialdom, streetworks licenses and the like we sometimes have to give a fixed date.
I have been using my new 2012 diary for a while now and it made me smile so I thought I would share some of the wisdom. I’m sure everyone has seen the standard desk diary which has a supposedly inspiring quote, or a historical date, well each day in my new diary is full of puns, and they are all terrible:
Too many cuppas a day can make you tea-total
For Irish weight watchers, slimerick is the place to go
Pilfer from the library and they will throw the book at you
Incompetent medieval horsemen could be a real kinghtmare
Narrow boat owners are considerate but some tend to barge in
People living in remote hill areas often communicate via moors code