Archive Article: 1998/01/09 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1998/01/09

9 January 1998

JOHN LLOYD JONES

Hendy, Tywyn, Merioneth.

Main enterprises on his familys less favoured area coastal unit, which he took over in 1970, are 650 ewes, a variable number of beef cattle and tourism.

Age: 48.

Became an NFU headquarters delegate when serving as county branch chairman in 1988.

1991-94 – vice-chairman of unions Welsh Council. Shortly to end a four-year spell as chairman.

CHALLENGES FOR THE NFU:

Agenda 2000, reform of the CAP and moving towards world market prices present the NFU with huge challenges. But optimistic that it will be possible to get a good deal for UK farmers.

He accepts that only tough negotiations will bring proper rewards for farming families forced to adopt a more multi-functional approach to land use, and to strengthen the rural economy.

Securing adequate agri-environment payments will be essential.

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Archive Article: 1998/01/09

9 January 1998

RAD THOMAS

Whatoff Lodge Farm, Quorn, Leics

Farming 271ha (670 acres), managing a further 364ha (900 acres). Combinable crops including oilseed rape and some sugar beet. 300 ewes and 50 suckler cows.

Age: 50

Active in NFU for 30 years. Progressed from local branch chairman to county executive and county chairmanship.

Served on NFU council for 12 years, during which time he was also chairman of Oils, Proteins and Fibres Committee.

CHALLENGES FOR THE NFU:

"The main task ahead is to respond to the EUs Agenda 2000 proposals and restore a position which will allow UK farmers and growers to compete successfully into the next millennium.

"Clearly we have to re-think our relationship with government. Whilst cognisant of their consumer-oriented policies, we have to make the case for farming and the rural community. We will produce whatever the consumer wants, but it cannot be done without a proper return for that effort."

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Archive Article: 1998/01/09

9 January 1998

TONY PEXTON

Watton Grange, Nr Driffield, Yorks.

Farming 461ha (1140 acres) of combinable crops, vining peas, pigs and grass.

Age: 55

Took over the farm in the early 1970s.

Began attending local NFU branch meetings in mid-1960s, with subsequent election to the East Riding executive.

1981 – elected to NFU council, sitting on both cereals and livestock and wool committees (at that time the farm fattened store cattle and carried 1000 ewes.)

Became vice-chairman cereals committee 1985, and chairman of the oils and proteins sub-committee.

1987 – elected chairman cereals committee.

Elected NFU vice-president 1992 (subsequently became deputy president in 1995 when vice-president post abolished).

CHALLENGES FOR NFU:

"We live in times of change, the speed and degree of which could be unusual. The CAP has to fit with eastward expansion of the EU and the next WTO round.

"We need to have the right team in place, comprising both professional staff and farmer members, looking within Europe and the UK, to deal with that. We must make sure we reflect the times, and are representing members needs.

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Archive Article: 1998/01/09

9 January 1998

NEED to know more about the potential for industrial and energy crops?

A new booklet from The University of Reading could help.

Funded by the ECs DG12 Agro-Industrial Research Unit it considers everything from flax for fibre to coppice willow for energy and marigold for novel oils.

A total of over 40 new crops are considered, with details of plant characteristics, husbandry, harvesting and potential uses.

Crops for industry and energy in Europe (ISBN 92-827-9415-6) priced £10.50 is available from The Stationery Office Tel: 0171 873 8372 Fax: 0171 873 8463.

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Archive Article: 1998/01/09

9 January 1998

HYDRILLA, an aquatic plant, which can grow 250mm (10in) a day during peak during its growing season, has become the bane of keeping irrigation canals open. Dense tangled masses of Hydrilla can totally clog irrigation water and drainage channels.

Research by the Environmental Resources Section of the Imperial Irrigation District has developed a sterile variety of a fish, Triploid Grass Carp, which thus far, shows great promise in water weed abatement.

White Fly.

IN what might be termed a modern day biblical scourge for Imperial farmers, crop damage from this pest was about £26m in 1993. No known pesticide has yet been able to completely control the insect. Partial control has been achieved by a change in planting practices. A reduction in autumn Cantaloupe acreage has helped, since it is one of the major host plants.

SOMEFACTSANDFIGURES

Out of a total of 174,000ha (430,000 acres) of field crops, the most popular ones were:

(000)haacres

Alfalfa65.0161.0

Wheat44.6110.0

Sudan Grass34.785.9

Sugar beet17.042.0

Cotton3.27.8

Permanent 1.94.9crops (eg citrus fruits, pecans, asparagus, fish farms, ornamental trees).

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