East of England Show 2011: Individual pig breed champions - Farmers Weekly

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East of England Show 2011: Individual pig breed champions

British Lop

Mr and Mrs M and E Edgar’s boar, Bakers Charles 11; res, Mr and Mrs M and E Edgar’s gilt, Bakers Actress 23


British Saddleback

L M and J R Wreakes’ gilt, Victoria Lottie 101A; res, L M and J R Wreakes’ Victoria Lottie 63A


Gloucester Old Spot

Miss S Whitley’s sow, Birchfield Dolly 7; res Mr J Knaggs’ boar, Littleowls Gerald 118


Large White

Messrs M J Kiddy and Son’s gilt



Middle White

Shuttleworth College‘s boar, Shuttleworth Revival 19



Brooksby Melton College‘s gilt, Brooksby Express 33



Mr D Hobbs’ gilt, Bickham FRVA


Any other white

Brooksby Melton College‘s Welsh gilt, Brooksby Express 33; res, Mr D Hobbs’ Landrace gilt, Bickham FRVA


Large Black

Mr P E Churchyard’s gilt, Breckles Jewel 103; res, Mrs M Naylor’s gilt, Framfield Maid



Mr and Mrs M and E Edgar’s gilt, Bakers Golden Rose 4; res, Mr S Durham’s gilt, Balsham Melody 9


Any other coloured

Messrs M J Kiddy and son’s gilt, Balsham Anna 13; res Mr D Hobbs’ gilt, Burma Anna



Champion male: Mrs S Ashcroft’s boar, Barlings Lassetter

Champion female: Mrs S Ashcroft’s gilt, Barlings Stonebow 1194



Champion male: Messrs M J Kiddy and son’s boar, Balsham Southern Style 9

Champion female: Messrs M J Kiddy and son’s gilt, Balsham Anna 13

East: Optimistic green haze but watch for slugs, aphids and blackgrass

There is a green haze of optimism across the landscape. Excellent growing conditions have evened crop establishment and growers have been able to continue autumn work at pace. Many first wheats after sugar beet have been drilled into good seed-beds and have emerged well.

Slug activity has increased recently and as expected, this has been most pronounced in crops following rape and where seed-beds have been cloddy. Later-drilled, slower emerging crops have been hit in particular.

Propyzamide (e.g. Kerb Flo) and Carbetamide (e.g. Crawler) applications should be stalled until soils cool.  Propyzamide is more effective when applied in cool conditions as this improves its persistence. Also, weeds are more easily controlled when their growth is less active but not entirely shut down.

Firm seed-beds, high soil moisture content and recent frosts also improve the efficacy of these actives.  Where a visible phoma threshold has not yet occurred a latent infection will be developing within the plant.  In these cases a pragmatic approach to control is advised e.g. by mixing the fungicide with a scheduled propyzamide application for grassweed control.

Risk of barley yellow dwarf virus infection has been high this autumn.  All crops that have emerged so far should be protected by seed treatment or foliar insecticide. If conditions remain mild then early September-sown crops treated with Deter (now eight plus weeks post-emergence) should receive a foliar application of cypermethrin to continue protection until aphid migration ceases. Even if cold conditions occur, crops that emerged in late October/early November should still be treated to prevent build up of aphid colonies that may have already established within the crop.

Blackgrass is emerging and has been seen pushing between clods where pre-emergence herbicides where applied to dry, cloddy seed-beds.  Atlantis – autumn or spring application?  Apply Atlantis in the autumn where blackgrass and sterile brome are the main targets and blackgrass populations are “more difficult” to control, due to high populations or more resistant types.  Spring applications should be considered where a mixed population of blackgrass with wild oats and or other bromes and cleavers are likely. 

Autumn applications should be made at the one to three leaf stage of the blackgrass while the weed is still actively growing. Conditions must allow the spray to dry on the leaf. Avoid spraying later in the day when damp conditions may occur before the spray dries on the leaf.


2 January 1998


POOR prices undermined a good harvest at Wood Farm, Bluntisham, Cambs, this season, sending profits crashing – Philip Godfrey hopes for better this year.

"Crops established very well last season. We had enough rain in September to get them going. That helped them through the dry spring, and they soon perked up after rain in June to produce a very useful harvest."

Oilseed rape gave 4.3t/ha (35cwt/ acre), peas 6.5t/ha (2.6t/acre) and wheats averaged 9t/ha (3.6t/acre).

"It was the year of the strobilurins. They gave definite yield advantages." In farm trials, two products applied at half-rate to wheat boosted yield by almost 1t/ha (8cwt/acre). They were also used in combination with triazoles on two-thirds of the commercial crop.

"We have sold some crop, but not enough. Marketing is now the key to good returns." Half the Hereward milling wheat was sold a few £ short of the £110/t budget, and some Rialto made £8/t less.

Oilseed rape and peas made £155/t and £117/t, respectively. But that will do little to help – profits will be down to a third of those achieved in the past two seasons, Mr Godfrey reckons.

"Crops are looking good so far this season. We need them to be." Cheaper inputs will help a bit, though fixed costs are the main target. It will take a weaker £ to bring real benefits, he says.

Super responses to wheat fungicides were not enough to lift the gloom from 1997 results for Cambs grower Philip Godfrey.

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26 December 1997


I AM appalled. The whole idea seems to be a license for some unknown verification organisation to print money with no benefit to me."

That is Philip Godfreys perception of the ACCS. Although he believes he can meet all the requirements, he has no intention of registering until a two-tier market forces him to do so.

Existing legislation already ensures a safe grain supply, he maintains. "As long as we can show we stick to the Codes of Practice and label recommendations, that should be enough. We should not have to join an expensive scheme."

Detailed agronomy records, including chemical and fertiliser application, are kept. And grain stores have been revamped over the past three years. "I have no problem showing end users both. But I object to a private, profit-making organisation having access to all my information."

Cost also riles him. He farms 274ha (677 acres) at Wood Farm, Bluntisham, Cambs, so falls into the top subscription band; £350 for the first two years of the scheme, and £350 a year after that.

"The verifiers wont have to check each farm every year. They will just write to see if we are sticking to the rules. There is no way its going to cost that much.

"I thought the idea was to assure the quality of the end product. Most of the guidelines dont seem to address this at all. Instead, its investigating the way we run our business, which is a gross interference."

Philip Godfrey reckons enough legislation is in place to ensure a safe grain supply. He believes further checks through the ACCscheme are a gross interference.

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29 September 1997


WINTER beans are providing pleasant surprises as combining draws to a close in the south of the region. But in the fens as much as 20% of the wheats were still uncut by the start of the week.

"Our members are all but finished and we are hearing some very good bean yields," says Camgrain manager Phil Darke. "One I know got 70t off 26 acres, and there are a lot of 2t/acre crops. Beans have come good after a few years of appalling yields."

Ian Scrafton, manager at Giffords Farm, St Ives finished cutting 97ha (240 acres) of Target and Punch just before the weekend. "We got 38-42cwt/acre – much better than the 30cwt/acre we expected. The worst was 31cwt of Target where we had rather too much weed."

Good heavy land, deep drilling and a comprehensive spray programme including two fungicides are the main reasons for the result, he believes.

Overall wheat yields in the Camgrain area are slightly up on last year, Mr Darke believes. But that reflects some very poor results from drought-stricken crops in Essex in 1996, he points out.

By contrast yields in the Fengrain region are very variable and probably 10-12% down on the very good output of 1996, says manager Chris Barnes. Quality is poorer than further south, he adds. "On specific weights we will probably struggle to average 73kg/hl."

Spring linseed at about 1.9t/ha (15cwt/acre) is out-yielding winter varieties. "But that wouldnt have been difficult this year," he says.

Barometer grower Philip Godfreys earlier fears for a disappointing harvest after the dry winter have been largely dispelled, with Rialto a consistently good performer both as first and second wheat. Sole disappointment was a field of Charger which went flat despite three applications of growth regulator. "We wont grow it again," he comments.

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5 September 1997


AS combining draws to a close, two former barometer farms hit by drought in 1996 thank June rainfall for returning crop yields to their long term average. Elsewhere excess moisture is being blamed for poor quality grain and output down on last year.

Robert Claydon reckons wheats at Silverley Hall Farms, Newmarket, finished two weeks ago, should average 9t/ha (3.6t/acre) – about 1t/ha (0.4t/acre) up on last year. Lowest specific weight is 78kg/hl.

"We have had a good harvest," adds Roger Middleditch who completed combining at Priory Farm, Wrentham, Norfolk, on Aug 21. "Our Riband averaged 73cwt/acre and yields are slightly better than last year all round." Further inland ear diseases have been a legacy of the wet June and yields have been lower than some growers expected, he reports.

Herts and Essex Grain Growers co-op manager Nigel Whittaker estimates wheat yields are 4-8% below 1996 levels. "Quality is better than what I hear from other areas, but samples dont look pretty." Blackpoint in potential biscuit making varieties could pose problems, he suggests.

HEG member Trevor Horsnell reports very variable wheat performance from Gorrells Farm, Highwood, Essex. "Our average is 8.35t/ha which is about 0.5t down on last year." Brigadier after rape gave nearly 1t/ha (0.4t/acre) less than as a third wheat, he notes.

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22 August 1997


WINTER wheat yields are down on last year, but close to the regions long-term average.

With much of the wheat crop combined, Dalgetys David Neale says yields are down 1.2-1.8t/ha (0.5-0.75t/acre) across all varieties. Quality is also variable, with specific weight down 3-4kg/hl on last year and high screenings.

Barometer farmer Philip Godfrey is bucking the trend, with yields on par or slightly better than last year. Riband averaged 10.6t/ha (4.3t/acre) compared with 10.12t/ha (4.1t/acre) last year.

Rialto is down on last years farm trial, but Hereward, grown as a second wheat almost matched last years 8.97t/ha. Quality has been good with Hagbergs of 280 plus and specific weight about 80kg/hl.

At J E W Banks of Crowland lodging has cut yield by about 1.25t/ha (0.5t/acre) and affected specific weight, says manager William Rodwell. "Riband second wheat was disappointing, although Brigadier looked better and Rialto the best, with 3.7t/acre, 12.2% protein, but low bushel weight."

In Suffolk, Michael Craske says his wheat yields are the best for three years. Buster produced just under 10t/ha (4t/acre) as a second wheat and Reaper turned in just over 10t/ha with a conventional triazole ear wash. The same variety yielded 11.80t/ha (4.75t/acre) as a first wheat after an ear treatment with a new generation fungicide.

In Norfolk, yields are down 1.25-1.8t/ha (0.5-0.75t/acre) on last year and specific weights range from "dreadful to respectable", says Allied Grains Robert Brown.

"Overall, quality is average. We have seen some nice samples but also some dirty milling wheats. Early lodged wheats have specific weights in the mid-60s. But good weather has held Hagbergs up well."

"Satisfactory rather than stunning" is how Andrew Kerr describes harvest at Wyldingtree Farm, North Weald, Essex, and the surrounding area. "Yields are definitely down." He hoped to finish by mid-week with Brigadier, Reaper, Riband and Shango on heavy boulder clay averaging 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), about 7% less than last year.

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15 August 1997


MANY growers expect to finish winter wheat by the end of the week. Yields and quality vary a lot, according to soil type, crop management, variety and to some extent weather conditions.

Rialto and Riband wheats are doing well for barometer farmer Philip Godfrey. "We havent cut anything under 10t/ha so far, although laid Riband lost about 2.5t/ha." Rialto did up to 11t/ha last year. Quality is better than expected, with both varieties giving 11% protein, 80kg/hl specific weight and over 280 Hagberg.

Waldersley Farms has cut 400ha (1000 acres) of wheat on the Cambs/Norfolk borders and reports yields 0.5t/ha lower than last years record 10.5t/ha (4.25t/acre) average across a range of soil types.

"We are probably close to our five year average. Bushel weights are back a bit too – 75kg/hl for Brigadier on sand and the best Riband only doing 78," says Peter Tiggerdine.

Further west yields are down by around 1.25t/ha and quality very variable, says Richard Whitlock of Banks of Sandy. Proteins are 1% up on last year, specific weight varies widely, from 66-82kg/hl, and Hagbergs are holding up quite well.

In Suffolk, a bullish Simon Tubbs of Framlingham Farmers talks of good average yields with some over 10t/ha. Proteins range from 11-12% and Hagbergs are above 270. But quality is variable with a lot of shrivelled grains. "Few samples will win beauty contests this year," he says.

Philip Darke of Camgrain reports average yields with samples dirtier than recent years. "Hagbergs in Brigadier and Hereward are over 225 and Riband is coming in above 220, but we have seen some low figures in Rialto, down to 150."

In south Essex, Phil Cottis reckoned he would finish group I and II winter wheats on Thursday. Yields are 0.8t/ha lower than last year, but quality variable, with black point in Rialto and Hereward.

At Northfield Farm, Comberton, Cambs, great variation between fields is seeing Riband average 9.7t/ha (3.9t/acre) and Consort 9.5t/ha (3.8t/acre).

Wheat harvest is halfway through at Pursley Farm, Shenley, Herts. Riband, Consort and Hussar cut so far have produced a bright bold sample, says Jimmy Hunter.

Yields are slightly down on last year but higher than average. Hussar, grown as second wheat suffered some take-all but yielded 8.1t/ha (3.3t/acre) at 16% moisture. Riband at 13% moisture gave slightly less, but Consort is nudging 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), he estimates.

&#8226 ADAS is bucking the trend at Boxworth, Cambs. It reports winter wheat yields are averaging 8.76t/ha (3.54t/acre) at the halfway mark, 6% up on last year, though specific weights are poorer.

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1 August 1997


LAST weeks pattern of variable winter barley yields and quality continues, but oilseed rape is doing better than expected.

By Monday evening 70-80% of winter barley in Suffolk had been cut, while trade sources put the area harvested in Norfolk at about 40%.

Good malting samples are few and far between, according to Dalgetys David Neale, with high nitrogen grain, high screenings and mediocre specific weights being common. In Suffolk later-maturing barleys are not maintaining last years yield advantage over early varieties.

Soil type holds the key to yield and quality. On light soils near Newmarket, Fanfare yielded 7t/ha (2.8t/acre) with 1.5-1.8%N and low screenings. In south Suffolk, yields are generally higher than the past two years.

Further east, Simon Tubbs of co-op, Framlingham Farmers, reports winter barley yields and quality up on last year, which Halcyon averaging 7t/ha (2.8t/acre) and Gleam, Fanfare and Plaisant up to 8.5t/ha (3.4t/acre).

Weekend rains slowed combining in Norfolk where Allied Grains Robert Brown reports worries about pre-germination in lodged barleys, but some good malting samples from standing crops.

Barometer farmer Philip Godfreys is very pleased with rape results. Alpine averaged over 4t/ha (32 cwt/acre), direct cut Synergy just over 5t/ha (41 cwt/acre) and direct cut Apex was 4.6t/ha (37 cwt/acre).

Early rape crops in Suffolk are producing good quality with respectable yields, averaging 3.5-4.5t/ha (28-36cwt/acre), says Framlingham Farmers Simon Tubbs. In south Essex Phil Cottiss Apex averaged just under 4t/ha (32 cwt/acre).

Apex oilseed rape yielded 4.6t/ha (37cwt/acre) on heavy clay at Guy Smiths Wigborough Wick Farm, St Osyth, Essex, despite receiving less than 300mm (11in) of rain up to June. Even lighter land managed 3.1t/ha (25cwt/acre).

Barley suffered more from the drought. Gleam and Fanfare averaged 6.4t/ha (2.6t/acre), well below average. One light field dropped to 5.7t/ha (2.3t/acre).

Gleam performed well on a light, brashy field share-farmed by William Ralph and John Everitt near Eight Ash Green, Colchester, Essex, yielding 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). "It was amazing. Barley has never yielded like that before here. Last year Puffin did 45-50cwt/acre."

Apex oilseed rape hit 4.6t/ha (37cwt/acre) at Highfield Farm, Perry, near Huntingdon, despite the exceptionally dry spring. Early establishment and good rooting kept the crop going, says Stephen Ellerbeck.

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27 December 1996


DROUGHT is the word that inevitably springs to Roger Middleditchs mind when recalling 1996 at Priory Farm, Wrentham, Norfolk.

"With potato prices as they are it has not been a brilliant year. We have got some very nicely established cereal crops and they have made a good start. But looking at forward prices I am not so sure about the future. We are going to be under a lot of pressure. I think the tide has turned. Whether the General Election will make any difference I do not know."

On the positive side sugar beet made a remarkable recovery. "I have never known sugar levels to go up before during a campaign."

Prime area of attention for 1997 will be keeping costs in line with prices. "We could be £80/acre down, so we will have a very close eye on inputs."

Pressure for traceability is likely to increase in the wake of BSE, says Mr Middleditch. "We are already feeling it through the veg and pig jobs, and it is going to grow in cereals. It will be a big on-cost and involve a lot of form-filling, but we shall have to go with it."

Grain prices may have caved in, but at least Roger Middleditch lost no more land to the sea in 1996.

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