Archive Article: 2000/04/07 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

It may be warmer now but this was the scene in the West Country in mid-week. The freak spring snowfall which hit hill tops across the country caused deep drifts and left many sheep farmers counting the cost as thousands of new-born lambs reportedly froze to death. The lowlands suffered too as heavy rain caused flooding and halted seed drilling.

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

Members of Farmers For Action outside number 10 Downing Street, returning a cheque for the summit handouts to emphasise that they want a fair price for produce and not just subsidies.

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

CORRECTION

CONTRARY to last weeks report (Arable, Mar 31) Cyanamid says it has applied for a seven day spray interval for potato blight fungicide Invader (dimethomorph + mancozeb) and is currently awaiting approval from PSD, which it hopes to receive in time for this season.

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

Maris Piper is loaded for planting into newly bought grade 1 double-cropping siltland at Naylors Farm, Surfleet Seas End, Lincs. The 20ha (50-acre) crop follows calabrese on what Brian Naylor describes as the cream of the UKs land. The crop will be grown on 760mm (30in) rows at 343mm (13.5in) spacing and packed by Sutton Bridge Group.

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

Rare breed enthusiasts gathered at Devizes, Wilts, last weekend for the dispersal of Michael and Anne Jones Lawfar herd of British White cattle. Biggest volume purchaser on the day was the partnership of Jacobs & Johnson which took 14 head to establish a new herd in Somerset. Bidding went to 900gns when the top call came for Castleton Tina, a 1995-bred cow by a Whitecross sire with a heifer calf at foot. Buyer was Mr Morris, Holsworthy, Devon. (Dreweatt Neate)

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

A RECENT return to wintery conditions is testing the resolve of those producers with cows outside. However, despite the colder spell, growth rates havent dived too much, which is good news for those preparing to flush cows.

Richard Davies, a producer from Anglesey, is dismayed by the recent poor weather. "Cold, wet days test extended grazing systems to the limit. I dont like seeing cows shivering."

But careful grazing control so far this season means plenty of grass for his cows as they approach service. Cows are receiving no concentrates and are giving 24-25 litres a day.

"Cows are allocated 16kg DM/day and arent given any more when they start bawling. We have now finished the first grazing round and will allow them 18kg DM/day a day for flushing," says Mr Davies.

Preparing cows for service is also on the mind of Sussex-based producer Christian Fox.

"Cows are still receiving 2kg/day of 18% protein concentrate but this will be cut out within the next couple of weeks when grass growth picks up. I want to get cows settled on grass in time for service, which begins on May 10," he says.

In common with other producers, Mr Fox is also waiting for an improvement in weather which will enable him to turn youngstock out.

But monitoring grass growth closely is crucial in deciding how long cows should graze for, according to David Patterson, grassland technologist at Greenmount College, Northern Ireland.

"Keep a close eye on grass growth, and when you see a surge in the next week to 10 days, think about grazing cows day and night. Where grass growth remains at less than 40-50kg DM/ha/day, however, restrict grazing to day time so cover doesnt become too low." &#42

Daily growth rates

Anglesey 43kg DM/ha

Pembrokes 30kg DM/ha

Staffs 38kg DM/ha

Sussex 27kg DM/ha

N Ireland 30kg DM/ha

Dorset 14kg DM/ha

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

A FEW years ago most spraying was done at 5mph. A lot is now done at 6-7.5mph, and some operators aspire to 10mph.

With relatively few ideal spray-days in a season, speed can help get the work done. But it must not be at the expense of delivering the product to the target.

Do not use faster speeds if your sprayers suspension and booms are not up to it – boom bounce and yaw are major causes of uneven application, warn experts.

High forward speed encourages spray droplets to move horizontally rather than downwards. If crop penetration is not critical that can be turned to advantage, for example, when applying a cereal flag-leaf fungicide where good coverage of the upper canopy is desired.

But where a product needs to penetrate, such as a graminicide applied to a GS31 cereal crop, trials show high speed application can give a poor result, says Novartis. The same effect is likely with broad-leaf weedkillers.

Some products need droplets at the fine end of the spectrum. But travelling at higher speed increases air turbulence and the risk of drift. That could be overcome by using an appropriate air induction bubble jet. But choosing the appropriate nozzle is critical.

That is especially so as the volume rate for a given nozzle at a given pressure goes down as speed rises and droplet size will decrease as the volume regulating control kicks in, says Paul Miller of Silsoe Research Institute.

Twin outlet nozzle tips or caps may be needed if the required volume and spray quality cannot be achieved at higher speed with a current nozzle, especially when using the high volumes needed for jobs like desiccation, he adds.

If houses, schools, crops, water or environmentally sensitive areas are nearby, the temptation is to reduce speed on the headland bout. But as speed is reduced pressure drops off rapidly and slowing from 10mph to less than 7.5mph is likely to need a nozzle change.

In water sensitive areas a change may be needed to meet LERAP requirements anyway. &#42

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

Rebecca –

the barmaid

REBECCAS feet ache. Shes been on the go all evening, pulling pints behind the bar in the Three Kings.

As holiday jobs go, its OK. Its convenient, too, just round the corner from her parents house, where shes spending the Easter holiday from university.

"Ive got experience in the union bar," she had told the landlord, Ted, when she went to see him about a part-time job. He was impressed with her initiative. Impressed with her smile, too. The fact that Rebeccas mum and dad live in the nice house on the hill – the one with the bit of paddock that hes been trying to buy for 20 years – had nothing to do with it.

Its a bit different to the union bar. More expensive. No plastic glasses. Altogether more sedate. A dozen people here constitutes a busy night.

Rebeccas a pretty girl. You cant help but notice that. The punters certainly didnt fail to notice, sitting in their usual places, gossiping and putting the world to rights. When they hear shes studying politics it always sparks a fierce debate on the state of the economy.

Its as if some of the customers dont have homes to go to. Ordering another drink, then another, then another. "Better make this one just a half, though, or Ill be in trouble with er indoors," they say.

Rebeccas got a special smile for each and every one of the punters. "Do you want it stirred," she asks, leaning forward, maintaining eye contact for a second longer than most of them are used to. She knows its good business.

She knows, however, where to draw the line. And she certainly wont stand for any funny business. "What do you think youre doing," she screamed at George, that time his hand brushed her knee. He claimed he was reaching for the complimentary cheese. She said he was a pervert.

The publicans wife is a little jealous of the attention Rebecca gets. "Do that top button up, girl – what sort of place do you think were running," she barked at the nervous Rebecca of her first day.

Rebeccas tired of being called "luv". And shes bored with hearing stories about the customers college days (always far better, far more raucous, far more challenging intellectually than todays students). Either that, or theyre bemoaning the pointlessness of higher education (you only learn by doing things not by reading about them).

Shes tired of being asked about "school", too. "Universitys great," she tells them, feeling guilty for not using the holidays to do more studying. Still, she needs the money and pub work will look OK on her cv – dealing with people and dealing with money.

Her boyfriend came to stay for a couple of days and sat in the pub. Marcus didnt get on with the locals. He tried – but it didnt quite work. They werent interested in his latest pet subject, Balkan history and they certainly didnt want to hear about the rag week antics. "Posh git," one of the regulars called him.

Rebeccas still quite fond of this pub. Its cute in a homely, traditional sort of way. "A real gem of a pub," she says.

But you wont find her celebrating here next summer when she graduates. Shell be in the new swanky wine bar just down the road from the uni campus. "And if Im pulling anything then, it wont be pints," she laughs.

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Archive Article: 2000/04/07

7 April 2000

Asystem developed by Lemken enables the companys range of Variowidth ploughs to work in both in-furrow and on-land ploughing settings. Available on five- to seven-furrow mounted and six- to nine-furrow semi-mounted models, the system is aimed at growers using both tracked and wheeled tractors. The "OF" link system is positioned between the ploughs mainframe and headstock, with a hydraulically cranked link providing the offset for in-furrow and on-land ploughing. The cranked link is also designed to ensure the ploughs overall length is not increased significantly when operating in the furrow. Available as a factory fit extra, the system is priced from £1350.

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