Archive Article: 2000/01/14 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

Part-time shepherdess and BBC researcher Terena Plowright with a Friesland lamb born at Little Tapnage Farm, Hants. The 80ha (200-acre) farm, owned by Gary Gamblin, runs a 550-ewe flock of milking sheep and lambs three times a year.

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

The Prince of Wales (third from right) was presented with an in-calf Sussex heifer, Black Ven Nootka 16, by the Sussex Cattle Society at Highgrove last week in recognition of his support for British beef.

bred by Elizabeth Buchanan (second from left), will join his organic beef herd.

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

Scottish NFU leader Jim Walker (centre) led more than 1000 farmers from across Scotland to petition the Scottish parliament on Tuesday. The marchers called for new measures to alleviate the industrys difficulties.

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

Weather window… Paul Brown made the most of some frosty mornings at Russell Smith Farms, Duxford, Cambs this week, spraying 21ha (52 acres) of late-drilled wheat and barley after roots. The DFF/IPU/ trifluralin mix, plus cypermethrin to control aphids, cost about 10% less than last year. "With cereal prices at £70/t and lower next year, its nice to have one cost thats falling," says farm manager Andrew Nottage.

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

PRECISION Farming 2000 on Wed Mar 8 is an unmissable event for farmers wanting to know how new technology can help them tailor inputs, boost margins and meet environmental and assurance demands more closely.

Organised by Fusion Events in association with farmers weekly it provides a shop window for the latest technical developments, with numerous experts on hand to explain how practical systems can bring real benefits.

The venue is the Newark and Notts Showground just off the A1 at Newark. The day includes a rolling programme of practical seminars supported by the HGCA and BPC.

Tickets £5 on the day or free if booked with Fusion Events – 01539-734725; fax 01539-740485; e-mail tickets@fusionevents.freeserve.co.ukn

Exhibitors booked

ADAS, CMT Techserv, Cranfield, Dalgety, Fairfield, Farmade, Farmworks, Field Track, Galaxy, Kemira, Knight, Landmark, Lely, LH Agro, MapIT, Muddy Boots Software, Omnistar, Patchwork, Pear Technology, Practical Ag Technology, Protimeter, Racal Landstar, RDS, Saderet, S&G Soil, Silsoe Research Institute, Simba, Skye Instruments, SOYL, Trimble and Vicon.

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

After a low cost sugar beet drill? Then Stanhay Webb could offer some help with this model – the Webb 6. Replacing the Webb 5 model, the drill is available in six to 18 row formats and employs a chain and sprocket driven seed delivery system. Other features include an improved plastic hopper, designed to improve visibility of seed levels and low-pressure front and rear tyres for work in difficult soil conditions. Price for a six row drill complete with manual markers is £6303.

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

Martin – the conservation advisor

MARTIN advises farmers on conservation schemes. Certain butterflies make him very excited. Hes never happier than when crouching in long wet grass, poring over rare plants.

Martins got a beard, votes Liberal Democrat and holidays abroad once a year. Hes got a range of different-coloured cagoules and wears wellies for farm visits – but his preferred choice of footwear is the sandal. "So much more comfortable – they let my feet breath," he says, smiling, his round glasses perched precariously on his pointed nose.

Hes got a degree with the word "Environment" in the title and a PhD which involved counting small animals then drawing lots of graphs and repeatedly writing the words "correlation" and "hypothesis".

Though he speaks of partnership, Martin is a bit suspicious of farmers and the relationship with some of them is a little strained. "That lefty," one or two of them call him. "The beardy weirdy," is how the more uncharitable ones refer to him.

When people talk about grass, he gets mildly irritated. Its not just grass. Its an intermediate perennial ryegrass ley or a low-fertility herb-rich sward. He doesnt, of course, show people hes irritated – he dons his favourite cagoule and takes a long brisk walk, heartily shouting "Morning" at anyone who passes.

Martins got a dream – its that one day every farm will have a wetland habitat. Theyll be teeming with plants and birds and small, furry animals and the diversity of fish will be indicative of the ecosystems healthy status. He ponders this over lunch, sitting in a lay-by munching carefully-quartered organic stoneground bread sandwiches. "One day," he thinks. "One day."

Since Martin got promoted he spends more time in the office than he would like to. He misses the old days when he was a "foot-soldier" – he really felt as if he was making a difference then. Now, its mostly meetings and management. Paperwork and politics. His reports have sections titled "Executive Summary" and "Key recommendations". The jobs more report writing than anything else these days, he rues, scratching his beard – itself almost worthy of SSSI designation.

"But mustnt grumble," he says. Its the weekend soon and Martins off birdwatching with the children. Birdwatching and walking. Therell be lots of lovely flowers to show the kids – assuming, that is, those nasty farmers havent ploughed them all up. &#42

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Archive Article: 2000/01/14

14 January 2000

Latest development from Billericay Farm Services is the TipCap spray nozzle. Described by the company as a combination nozzle and plastic cap manufactured as a single unit – an arrangement which avoids the normal fumbling with caps and jets – it is available with either ceramic nozzles – 015 to 06, or with plastic nozzles in sizes -015 to -20. ISO colour coded, TipCaps operate on a maximum pressure range of 1-4 bars at a spray angle of 110 degrees.

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