Archive Article: 1999/04/23 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

Farm minister Nick Brown (right) joined Meat and Livestock Commission chairman Don Curry at Safeways store in Heaton, Newcastle, to promote British Meats quality standard for pork. The MLC has recently announced that it will spend another £3.5m promoting the mark, now recognised by more than 80% of consumers.

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Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

GRANT Murray (left), overseen by father Scott, knocks down another pen of prime lambs at this weeks Stamford Spring Lamb Show and Sale. Despite being one of only a handful of markets left in Lincolnshire entries from local farms were down to 115 head. The show champion, a 43kg Charolais cross from J W Thaves & Son, Empingham, sold for £73. Other entries were 50p/kg down on the champion to average 118p/kg. Hoggs – including several end-of-season pens – averaged 88p/kg.

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Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

Whats up doc?… David Smolden, Fullabrook Farm, Umberleigh, north Devon, takes the soil temperature in his maize field. He hopes to drill LG 21.85 maize in early May for feeding his 50 dairy cows next winter. Cows average 5800 litres on a low-cost production system, with maize fed as 40% of the forage in winter.

Thats a-mazing… High yielding maize varieties were drilled on trial plots under plastic at CEDAR, Reading University, this week. IP Europes Neil Overton says putting maize under plastic allows drilling to take place two to three weeks early. The plant is protected from frost and soil is warmed by the plastic allowing higher yielding varieties to be grown or earlier harvest.

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Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

Bob Parry (left), Farmers Union of Wales president, was joined by Labour, Lib-Dem and Plaid Cymru candidates at the launch of the unions Assembly 99 manifesto at Castell Llwyd Farm, Nelson, Glamorgan. Edmund and Bethan Williams, who run the 77.7ha (192-acre) severely disadvantaged beef and sheep unit, told the visiting politicians that they would have gone under without help from their parents and income from providing farmhouse respite holidays for people with learning difficulties. For details on the forthcoming Welsh and Scottish elections, see pages 17-19.

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Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

PUBLIC perception of crop spraying is generally hostile.

So for appearances as well as economic efficiency and environmental protection, the job must always be done to the highest possible standard, says LEAF Co-ordinator Caroline Drummond.

Images lead to perceptions. Remember that fine spray droplets are highly visible. Although representing only a small percentage of the total spray volume, they can appear worrying to the public.

Avoiding spray drift must be one of the main aims, says Miss Drummond. Choose a nozzle and spray pressure which gives the coarsest spray quality compatible with product efficacy. This, combined with an appropriate boom height and speed, will do much to reduce drift risk and damaging images.

Avoid putting the public or their perceptions at risk when spraying near footpaths. Remember the Green Code says that public rights of way should always be open and not over-sprayed. Adequate warning notices should also be in place. But take them down as soon as they are no longer appropriate to avoid unnecessary concern.

Take great care when spraying near high profile public areas like houses, schools, hospitals and waterways. If the wind direction creates a hazard, use an acceptably coarser spray quality, leave a headland strip untreated or come back later to finish off. Remember it is often less windy early and late in the day.

The requirements of Assurance Schemes and LERAP recording will help to ensure that products are not used outside approvals for crop, harvest interval, maximum dose rate or buffer zone. This will build public confidence in food and environmental quality. &#42

IN THE PUBLIC EYE

&#8226 Encourage public confidence in spraying.

&#8226 Small drift volumes may seem large.

&#8226 Use due diligence near footpaths.

&#8226 Take care near vulnerable areas.

&#8226 Monitor and improve procedures.

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Archive Article: 1999/04/23

23 April 1999

The cows are out now, which must be good news. It means the sun is shining, the endless rain has stopped, the days are getting longer and I will soon have less work in the calf house which is filling up now with weaned calves needing to be moved into the big shed. Then I will have more room for the last few calves still to come.

It also means I can tread freely through the shed if I have to – unafraid.

Last week Tim sent me out with a bucket of colostrum to feed a new born calf he did not think was drinking. Milking was almost over and I was making my way through the cows as they were settling back in the shed when wallop. I was head-butted from behind smack into a post, lost the colostrum but found my feet pretty quickly and was out over the feeding trough in a flash, luckily, really, as she was coming towards me again.

I hit the post side-on and limped back into the parlour. Tim (milking) took one look at me and muttered, exasperatedly, that he knew he should have done it himself. I, feeling hurt and sore, went in to make myself a cup of tea. It is true I am no hero when it comes to facing big animals. Last year we had a bull who did not like two-legged females, and I backed out of a similar mission when Tim sent me in to feed new born twins, despite having inch thick metal bars around me. I did not fancy my chances when the bull next door made a beeline in my direction and started pawing the floor and snorting. I am good at swift retreats.

Tim said it was my own fault the cow hit me, I was carrying a yellow bucket. I know cattle can see some form of colour, as I always feed the babies with yellow buckets and if I walk about with the green or the blue no one bothers but any time there is a yellow one in my hand everyone is interested. Tims theory is that the cow wanted the milk (I thought she must hate me). Whatever the reason Tim was a little more sympathetic three days later when the bruises came out down my arm and leg, and he has told me I am not to be so friendly with them when they are young. That is one lesson learnt.

A little side note concerning daughters. At lunch the last time we were all together Abi was telling us of the latest chat-up line she had had at Uni. "Is your father rich?" the boy asked.

"No," said Abi.

"Then who put those diamonds in your eyes?"

While we were groaning round the table Beth piped up quick as a flash: "And the gold in your teeth?"

Kids.

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