Archive Article: 2001/10/19 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Luckily no-one was seriously hurt in this dramatic accident on the M50 near Redmarley, Glos, on Sun, Oct 14. Eyewitnesses suggested the trucks load shifted, forcing it onto the bridge rail which collapsed and the carcasses then emptied onto the motorway beneath. The white Saab convertible was on the westbound carriageway heading towards Wales when it hit the carcasses and crossed the central reservation.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

MLC show spending was well worth it

Taking exhibition space at any international food fair does not come cheap. Entertaining more than 60 key buyers and sellers to a lavish dinner also knocks a hole in an over-stretched budget.

Yet, judging by the response to the Meat and Livestock Commissions presence at this weeks ANUGA food fair in Germany, it was levy-payers money well spent.

The timing could not have been better, coming less than a week after Brussels approved British pig exports.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Vital to care for your precious farm staff

Farm staff are becoming an endangered species. Motivating those that remain has never been more important.

But how do you build in motivation? Setting targets and then paying a bonus is one way but if the employee has little control over those factors, the exercise can be counter productive. More useful, say experts, is saying thank you for a job well done, a Christmas lunch or a few bottles of wine.

Most of important of all, try to remain optimistic about business prospects. Gloom is infectious.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Milk producers are a dogged breed indeed

All credit to UK milk producers. More than 90% say they would continue milk production provided the milk price remains at, or above, its current level, according to Strutt and Parkers Dairy Event survey.

The high cost of capital investment is the most limiting resource which is being exacerbated by the lack of profit.

The dairy sector is a prime example of why farmers need realistic commodity prices. Without that guarantee the industry cant be expected to produce at higher welfare and quality standards.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

The Fayre Oaks sale of Welsh ponies attracted some good prices. Mares and stallions with good bone, and up to height, sold for several thousand £s. Top price was £4000 for Downland Eventide, a 10-year-old mare by Downland Chevalier that came from Clive Morse of the Pennwood Stud, Manordeilo, Carms, Wales.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Keeping it in the industry…contractor Kevin Johnson applies Limex 70 from British Sugar at 7.5t/ha (3t/acre) to correct pH ahead of sugar beet at Philip Hirsts Home Farm, Uffington, Lincs. After transport the BS product is marginally more expensive than local ground limestone, but contains useful trace elements, says Mr Hirst.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

EUgoes upbeat on bio-fuel cropping

Fancy growing oilseed rape and fodder beet for bio-fuel? Then why not write to your MP and the government.

The EU wants 2% of all fuels to come from crops by 2005. Thats a major and welcome shift in policy. The trouble is nothing will happen unless the British government cuts bio-fuel duty and does so quickly.

Only if clean-air bio-fuel gets the same tax concession as liquid petroleum gas is it likely to be viable. Without it, this great opportunity could be squandered.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Unbelievable…but tractor sales rising

Who would have thought tractor sales would rise when livestock producers are reeling from foot-and-mouth and arable farmers are suffering such low returns?

After all, the Agricultural Engineers Association, supported by UK dealers, predicted sales would reach barely 8000 units this year before F&M took hold in Feb. Now, with 9127 units sold for the first nine months of this year, a 4% increase, it forecasts tractor sales could top 11,000 by December. Now that is good news.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

FW encourages young voices to be heard

Rural young people deserve to have their voice heard.

Young Farmers Clubs, which are unveiling their New Members Week tomorrow, are doing some great work in this area.

FARMERS WEEKLY is determined to play its part, by running two new initiatives.

Our Next Generation Survey, launched next week, will give 16 to 30-year-olds the chance to explain their views about careers in farming and the land-based industries.

Meanwhile our College Calendar competition, in this weeks Farmlife Section, offers one lucky student the chance to write a monthly column for the magazine.

Who knows, you could win a cash prize and make your voice heard.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Organics no longer a faddist preserve

Organic farming has made great progress in the past 10 years. No longer is it the preserve of enthusiasts in open-toed sandals. Instead, worthwhile profits can be made.

But there is a dearth of information to help them combat weeds, pests and diseases before harvesting reasonable yields of organic produce.

To supply that need Scottish Agricultural Colleges and Elm Farm Research Centre are staging technical conferences on Tue, Nov 6, at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh and Fri, Nov 9, at Cranfield University, Silsoe, Beds. Backed by FARMERS WEEKLY, HGCA and the Royal Bank of Scotland, tickets cost £55 each. Contact SAC on 01224 711072.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Maize was harvested just four months after sowing on May 23 at Linhaymeads Farm, Romsey, Hants. The 8ha (20-acre) crop yielded well at 13.3tDM/ha (5.4tDM/acre), says farm manager Phil Beattie. It was grown as part of a project by Barenbrug UK to monitor the performance of new and existing maize varieties in different farm circumstances. Growing early maturing varieties can allow an extra crop of grass to be grown during winter, explains Mr Beattie. But this makes spring slurry applications impractical.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

WOULD you like some cheese Madam? Yes, I would, but which to choose from with eight different varieties on offer – all Camembert. "Id like some of this, that and the other, thank you," and they were all delicious. Where were we? At another lovely dinner, this time in the Casino at Trouville. It was the annual Confrerie des Chevalier due Camembert and Tim was one of the guest "intronized" which meant he had to go on stage in his calf scour brown velvet robe and hat, repeat the oath which is a little like the Boy Scout promise "to do my best…" but in promoting the healthy consumption of a really good cheese (which in my opinion will lose all its charm if Europe decrees it can only be made with pasteurised milk; what do politicians know about making good cheese?) He read out the words in very clear French (which took a bit of doing as it was written in elaborate italic script and was not at all easy to read). Then he was tapped on each shoulder with a baton and given some cheese to eat and cider to drink before a heavy braided medallion was hung around his neck.

Rather than risk driving home, we spent the night in Trouville and went round the Sunday morning market with the stalls of fresh fish, crabs and lobsters glistening in a watery sunshine. We bought prawns and bulots (whelks) for lunch, stuffed olives and roast chicken, and some Deauville cheese to taste.

The week before we had the commune repas for Guerquesalles. This used to be just for inhabitants, but this year was opened to employees or associates of inhabitants so Jacques (our cowman) and his wife came with Michel , who works two days a week for us and two for our landlady, Mrs Dufresne. This time we werent the only English couple there. Quite a few Brits are Guerquesalles locals now.

Dad Green and Sheila just missed the social event this year but they are not missing out on autumnal fare. Sheila is on almost permanent apple cooking duty, baking, stewing and mixing with blackberries, all of which we have in abundance. When she isnt baking she is up the hill picking walnuts and running the dogs, well more ambling them as they have all seen better days. Pip, Sam and Meg, three of the oldest took it into their heads to go off for a walk the other day (they never leave the farm and seldom go off without being taken). I turned round to see three dogs in a line strolling up the hill with intent. "Where do you think youre going?" I called out. Not an ear twitched. I said "Come back," much louder. Nothing. Oh, for goodness sake. I went up to get them remembering they are all pretty much deaf as posts. Ignorance is bliss.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

Apple of their eye…judges put pastry and filling to the test at the National Bramley Apple Pie championship. The event, organised by Nottinghamshire Federation of Womens Institutes and Newark and Sherwood District Council, took place at Southwell – home of the original Bramley apple tree. "With new-season Bramleys now in the shops and dark, chilly autumn days drawing in, the competition provided the perfect opportunity to create tangy, melt-in-the-mouth, appetising Bramley apple pies for all the family," said a spokesperson for the organisers.

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

For poster-ity…more than 15,000 of these posters will be displayed across England and Wales as part of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs New Members Week which kicks off tomorrow (Oct 20). More than 730 clubs will hold events, with a key aim to "dispel the myth" that you have to be a farmer to join a YFC. According to chairman Stephen Jarvis, foot-and-mouth has hit the organisation hard. "Most of the fundraising events upon which clubs rely financially were cancelled and many of their social networks collapsed. We hope that the National New Members Week will help create the impetus needed to get clubs back on track."

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

USING a mill fitted to forage harvesters improves the nutritive value of urea-treated whole-crop wheat for dairy cows, but sugar supplements may be needed to obtain the full benefits.

The problem with urea-treated whole-crop is that 10-20% of starch passes through the cow as undigested whole grains, says Harper Adams University Colleges Liam Sinclair. "This results in a low energy forage and disappointing cow performance."

Forage mills fitted on forage harvesters have been developed to improve starch availability by grinding cereal grains. This was recently evaluated at the college with funding from the Milk Development Council and Maize Growers Association.

"Apparent starch digestibility was increased from 80% to 97% when using forage mills to grind grains. This equates to a 300-600g a day reduction in starch losses in dung."

The increased starch availability resulted in cows eating 2.5kg a day less forage dry matter, while maintaining the same milk yield at 30kg a day with no body condition loss. This cuts daily feed costs by 4-8p a cow, adds Dr Sinclair.

A further saving of up to 3p a day was obtained when increasing the cutting height of wheat from 18cm (7in) to 37cm (15in) to increase starch content. This is despite the 20-25% reduction in forage yield when increasing stubble length.

But feeding the short straw whole-crop reduced milk fat content by about 0.5%, due to less fibre, and increased body condition score by 0.2 units.

Forage production costs were £48/t DM for the long straw whole-crop and £55/t for the short straw. With arable aid payments, the cost falls to £34-£38/t.

"This winter, the second part of the project will look at ways to stimulate forage intake and increase milk output. We know cows can eat an extra 2.5kg DM, as shown by the cows eating unprocessed whole-crop," says Dr Sinclair.

Feeding fermentable sugars, such as molasses and lactose, has been shown to stimulate dry matter intake and this will also be investigated this winter. &#42

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Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

DORSET

Tue, Nov 6, noon for 12.30pm. Meet at the Frampton Arms, Morton for lunch and talk on Dorset Weather by Mr N Ching. Raffle. Send £12 to Hazel Wyatt, Rockpitts, Plush, Dorchester DT2 7RL by Oct 30.

GLOUCESTER

Mon, Oct 22, 8pm. Meet at Minsterworth village hall for a talk on An intriguing collection of books by Ray Bell. Contact Phyllis Charter (01452-830435).

NORTH COTSWOLD

Fri, Oct 26, 7pm for 7.30pm. Harvest supper at Falcon Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon. Husbands and friends welcome. Dancing to Mike White with his electric organ. Contact Pauline (01608-737733).

NORTH YORKSHIRE/SOUTH DURHAM

Thu, Oct 25, 2pm. Meet at Brompton Church Hall for a demonstration on Kaleidoscope Craft by Mrs Joan Collinson. Refreshments and raffle. Visitors most welcome. Contact Mrs E Kirby (01609-883233).

STAFFORDSHIRE

Mon, Dec 3, noon for 12.30pm. Christmas lunch at Weston Hall Hotel, near County Showground. Names and £5 deposit to Betty Lea (01785-282304) by Nov 1.

WARWICKSHIRE

Thu, Nov 1, 10.30am. Meet at Willoughby village hall for coffee followed by talk on Montserrat by Dr Michael Field. Leukaemia Card Sale. Contribution lunch. Contact Barbara Gray (01788-832652). Jean Howells hopes to be there.

WORCESTERSHIRE

Tue, Oct 23, 10.30am. Meet at Crowle village hall for a coffee and talk on A Day in the Life of a Farrier by John Chilman. Contact Pat Symonds (01905-345285). Jean Howells hopes to be there.

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