Archive Article: 2001/11/23 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

Bags of room… A new fertiliser store providing 3600sq ft of capacity on Liverpool docks was opened last Friday. It was built by Associated British Ports and offers a high-speed bagging plant and two acres of paved storage. It marks the latest phase in Hydros UK logistics restructuring programme, allowing the company to import the right fertilisers nearer to their point of use, cutting down on lorry miles, says Doug Shaw, Hydro Agri UKs managing director (pictured).

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

Snap happy… Winners of the farmers weekly Photo Competition last year took some amazing pictures. This year, each of six category winners will win £100. So get snapping and turn to page 64 for details on how to enter.

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

Pondering the future direction of your farm business? A good place to gather the information to make the right farming decisions is at AgriVision on Dec 5 and 6 at the National Agricultural Centre. Turn to pages 67-76 for details of exhibitors and seminars.

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

No need for sheep aid reform frustration

Failure by EU farm ministers to agree a reform of the sheep support system this week was as frustrating as it was unnecessary.

With just six weeks to go to the start of the new sheep marketing year it leaves producers facing continued uncertainty.

The arguments in Brussels this week centred on money, with some member states saying the k-equivalent of £13.50 on offer from the commission was too little, others saying it was too much.

The fact is, sheep producers need more than that to make their businesses viable again, something that was recognised by the Irish and Spanish ministers, though, predictably, not by the UKs.

Despite the frustration, no deal is better than a bad deal.

Youngsters convention was a real tonic

It was just what everyone needed; after the disruption of local events and the cancellation of its annual convention in May, Young Farmers Clubs from around England and Wales gathered in Torquay last weekend.

It was a chance to get together, swap news and views, debate the future and have some fun. And in true Young Farmers style, they sure did have some fun.

It was a chance, also, for young people to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and forget – even if only for a few days – some of agricultures woes.

Opinions on farming, like the weather, were mixed. But there was one thing on which everyone agreed – after the trauma of foot-and-mouth, this weekend was just the tonic people needed.

Restocking for most an impossible task

DEFRA has approved restocking on some farms in the areas worst affected by foot-and-mouth. Or has it?

Many farms have been signed off by vets after cleansing and disinfection. But without allowing cattle to move into counties, such as Cumbria, which saw 1.14m animals culled, restocking for most is impossible. Replacing stock will need animals to be drafted in from across the country.

Moving stock around without F&M precautions would still be unwise. But DEFRA should allow movement into those hard hit areas as soon as possible. Only then will farmers be able to source high genetic merit stock, with good health status, at a reasonable price.

AgriVisions a chance to catch up on info

Have you missed the absence of the agricultural shows and technical events this season?

Many feel they provide the ideal occasion to get away from the farm and to exchange ideas with friends or industry experts.

But there is a chance to catch up on the information essential to the health of your farm business at next months AgriVision event. Organised by the RASE at the NAC, Stoneleigh, on Dec 5 and 6, it will provide an ideal environment to give the future direction of your farm some serious thought.

Action needed to check glyphosate resistance

The total herbicide glyphosate has long offered a powerful, low-cost way of combating troublesome weeds.

So, the inexorable rise of resistant weeds is cause for concern.

The intensive use of glyphosate, much of it in genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops, has led to at least six outbreaks of resistant weeds around the world.

Selection pressure is rising in Europe too, as the herbicide becomes increasingly popular.

Manufacturers should act to protect this important herbicide. Better guidance on how growers can use the product to prevent resistance developing is needed urgently.

Farm Stay UK shows impact of pooled effort

Pooling resources can create real market impact.

For proof look no further than Farm Stay UK, previously known as the Farm Holiday Bureau. This group, started with the help of farmers weekly back in 1983, has weathered one of the worst years for farm holidays in living memory and come out triumphant.

Not only has it won the Tourism Society Award for its contribution to the development of UK tourism, it has also produced a great full-colour holiday brochure. The brochure has so impressed the British Tourist Authority that it has paid for 5500 copies to be distributed abroad.

No wonder Farm Stays Nigel Embry is full of confidence for next year, as Farmlife explains.

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

At Brighton, WWW meant worlds worst weeds, not world-wide web. Top of the pops, judged by the number of scientific papers published on each weed in the past twenty-eight years, is Bermuda grass, closely followed by watergrass or nutgrass. Blackgrass doesnt even make the top 20. "It would be right up there if the chart was based on agchem research spend," said Martin Parham, of Berks-based Herbiseed, who put together a display of the top 20 for the event. Of the common UK weeds only fat-hen, wild oats, field bindweed and amaranthus made the WWW list.

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

Despite the difficulties, some tups are changing hands in Cumbria. A half share in this shearling Swaledale ram cost Alan Alderson of Barras Farm, Kirkby Stephen, £15,000. He bought it off Mossdale Estates, Hawes. Mr Alderson, chairman of the Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association, lost 90% of his sheep in nine separate F&M culls.

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Archive Article: 2001/11/23

23 November 2001

Absolutely no complaining because we have had a wonderful autumn of warm sunny days. Dad Green was able to tidy up loose ends before the winter, greasing gate bolts, fixing the draughty parlour doors and putting away the window boxes ready for next spring, all in rolled-up shirt sleeves – marvellous!

The cows spent the first night in on Bonfire night, not out of any consideration of frightening them with fireworks, (we didnt both this year as the girls were all away and we have really gone off the idea of any sort of fire, even barbecues were limited in the summer). The beginning of November brought the first change of more wet and chilly climes; but Tim is not complaining, the last time we had a season this good was the year we arrived, 1983. Both he and the cows thought they had come to paradise, out until December.

Cherry came home for a brief half-term and it was fun comparing notes and classroom stories. She is teaching youngsters from 16 upwards, some not much younger than herself but considerably bigger, a daunting task, but she seems to be coping.

Abi has gone back to Uni at Caen to continue her studies in theatre, and she has been rehearsing and playing various roles with a students drama group. We go to see her when we can, although the plays are often making a statement – Edward Bonds War Plays, an actor friend assured me, are just as difficult to understand in English – or they are deep and philosophical; weve sat through Antigone and Phädre, in French. Im really looking forward to the day she appears in a light and frothy farce where her Mum can have a good giggle but I get a look of utter disdain any time I mention my preference. She now chooses when I can go to watch and when Id be better off at home!

Beth is enjoying her student life in Bergen. She is trying to learn the language in between English courses and working in the students bar with her boyfriend Pierre. They were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights one weekend, apparently they are very impressive. Since then they have had snow and the days are getting much shorter. She may even appreciate a typical Normandy winter when she comes home for Christmas.

Hunting has started and the first day on the estate was a resounding success with five wild boar shot. We were given an enormous piece of meat which will look well on the table in a few weeks time.

After a very quiet summer due to foot-and-mouth, we are now having a stream of visitors for weekends or short visits, and this afternoon, after a very brief week-end, we waved goodbye to Rowan Hill who was farmers weekly Farms Secretary when Tim started working at Conrick. There was much reminiscing and swapping of photos, and lots of reassuring that we all look just the same, except of course the girls. It was fun.

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