Archive Article: 2002/04/19 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Getting on with chloridazon… Andy Beach finished applying pre-emergence sprays to GJ Orford & Partners 57ha (140 acres) of sugar beet late last week. This crop of Humber was just emerging on Monday. "All we need now is half an inch of rain and the beet will rocket away," he says. That could give growers ideal weed control conditions with a flush of soft, rapidly growing weeds, says independent consultant Richard Palmer of Farm Vision. "A low dose FAR-type programme should give good control."

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Chancellor Gordon Brown delivered his Budget on Wednesday, but there was little on offer for farmers. Nevertheless, some business fine-tuning could help cut the tax bill. See page 26 for details.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Salad days…Lithuanian students planting 20ha (49 acres) of Cos and Lollo Rossa lettuce at Norfolk House Farm, Lincs. JEPCO has 810 ha (2000 acres) of arable land in south Lincs and Bawdsey, Suffolk. The students, who are taking part in the Concordia scheme, will tend to 260ha (640 acres) of leaf salads spread across 14 varieties.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

One man went to mow… Leonard Ramsbottom takes a break from negotiating an ageing Haldrup forager around perennial grass plots at NIABs regional trials centre at Harper Adams University College, Shrops. Fresh weights and DM records are being taken in a three year experiment comparing variety performance.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Tractor sales surge – healthy industry

From despair to hope. If, as many believe, the number of tractors being sold is a barometer for the state of the machinery industry, things are certainly getting better.

Figures released recently by the Agricultural Engineers Association reveal that the first quarter sales for this year are the best for five years and are an impressive 38% up on last year.

Furthermore, manufacturers and dealers are reporting healthy order books for the coming months. Thats good news for everyone if it reveals greater confidence in the future of UK farming. So, lets hope this welcome improvement is maintained.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

DNA is ultimate in traceability but…

Its the ultimate in traceability. DNA sampling should make it possible to trace the meat on your plate back to an individual animal and the farm where it was reared.

Sounds a simple enough way of achieving fraud-proof tagging. EU research has already begun to assess the viability of such a system.

But who would foot the bill for sampling, sample storage and a storage database? Would imports that dont meet these standards be barred from Europe? Both are key questions that need answers.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Colleges course in leadership welcome

Farming needs many things. Better prices, more power in negotiations with buyers and more understanding from government to name but three.

Good leadership is also vitally important. Particularly with regard to lobbying power at Westminster and trying to retain the sympathy of an often-sceptical public.

So we applaud Seale-Hayne Colleges two-week course training farmers and others in the industry to be the farming spokesmen and leaders of the future. The course runs in November and interviews are held in July.

Bursaries are provided by the Worshipful Company of Farmers. So, if you could speak up for farmers see p38.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Taking an early cut, while the sun shines at Thornton Farm, near Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Spencer Mogridge forages grass cut 48 hours earlier using the farms own silaging kit, assisted by his brother Ralph. The 22ha (55 acre) crop had grown well since it was sown last August, with a Nickersons seven-year perennial ryegrass and clover ley. Together with their mother June, the Mogridges milk 130 cows and rear 100 beef animals for sale as stores on their 120ha (300 acre) grass farm.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

"Superb" conditions allow de-clodding to proceed apace ahead of planting Nicola organic potatoes at W W J Collins Ashlyns Farm, Bobbingworth, Ongar, Essex. "Its been a breath of fresh air after the past two years," comments manager Mark Smith. Compared with last year, when only 4% of the UK crop had been planted by mid-April, over half was in by last weekend, the BPC estimates. Most regions have made good progress, and frost damage has been limited to a few early crops on Romney Marsh, Kent.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Paul Chapman tidies up headland patches of blackgrass on M J & S C Collins Roffey Hall Farm, Treshers Bush, Harlow, Essex, with 175ml/ha of Topik (clodinafop-propargyl). Despite a split autumn ipu treatment, the weed took advantage of the relatively thin crop after minimal cultivation.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Two-spray strategy can be good option

Mind the gap! Thats key advice for cereal growers this spring. To keep diseases at bay, growers should prevent a gap opening between the fungicide protection offered by T1 sprays and the kickback curative activity from the T2 flag-leaf timing.

Recent cold, dry weather slowed crop growth and disease development, so T1 sprays could be delayed. With new, more powerful fungicide options available for the T2 flag-leaf timing theres scope to consider a two-spray strategy which would cut fungicide and application costs.

But dont make your decisions yet, say the experts. Monitoring disease pressure and crop growth is vital to spot any scope for stretching fungicide use without leaving a gap in disease control.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Biosecurity is all around us now

Biosecurity is the new buzz word but how many had heard the term before foot-and-mouth? Now it is difficult to avoid.

It may be an ugly word but it is too costly to ignore. The failure to prevent disease spread can easily turn a small profit into substantial losses. For sheep producers, each single case of infectious abortion costs about £80.

Although some biosecurity measures are impractical for everyday farming, as our Leader explains, others can easily pay for themselves. Check out the potential benefits in our Livestock Section.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Shoppers will spend more for local food

We live in a global economy but dont forget local markets. Shoppers like locally grown food. They associate it with freshness and many seem keen to support the local economy.

Best of all, some are often prepared to pay a premium for locally-grown food. So, if your area has a distinct local or regional identity, why not take advantage of it? According to the WFU, big opportunities exist for farmers who seek out such markets. Knock on the doors of potential local customers, it advises. Its hard work, but can pay dividends.

If you want your business to be a world beater, its worth remembering that your own back-yard can sometimes be one of the most lucrative markets.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

Three new disc mower conditioners join the Claas line-up of grassland machinery. Two of the models – the Disco 8700C Plus and the Disco 8850C Plus – are designed for use attached to a self-propelled forage harvester unit and have working widths of 8.3m. Outputs of up to 8ha/hour (20 acres/hour) are claimed. The third new mower is the front-mounted 3m Disco 3050FC. All three mowers are equipped with the Claas Quick Knife Change (QKC) system which, through the use of a spring leaf blade retention system, allows blades to be replaced speedily without the need for tools.

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Archive Article: 2002/04/19

19 April 2002

FREEDOM Food, the RSPCAs farm animal welfare assurance scheme, established the Alastair Mews Award in 1998 to recognise individuals and companies who have made an outstanding contribution to welfare.

This years awards are open to the whole industry, recognising that improvements to farm animal welfare are not only made by Freedom Food scheme members.

Entries are requested in the following four categories, the winner of each will be nominated for the award.

&#8226 Producer groups – where innovation or change has been introduced across the groups whole supplier base.

&#8226 Individual farmers – where positive changes have been made in a single herd or flock, either as part of a group or independently.

&#8226 Handling/transport of farm animals post-farm – hauliers and abattoirs who have improved aspects of transport, handling and slaughter.

&#8226 Freedom Food Member – As well as entering one of the above

categories, Freedom Food members will also automatically be entered into this category.

The overall winner will receive the coveted Alastair Mews Award, as well as a £2500 bursary to be used for research or training into further farm animal welfare improvements. Each of the category winners will receive an award and a special farm gate sign. All winners will receive coverage in The Daily Telegraph and farmers weekly, as well as exposure in the relevant local and trade press.

Freedom Food are also offering a free consultation and assessment for all short-listed entrants, both members and non-members, giving the opportunity to use the expertise and knowledge of Freedom Food approved assessors. &#42

Norfolk-based LSB Pigs won the Alastair Mews Award in 2000 for its ingenious use of sun-reactive paint. The paint keeps pig arcs cool on sunny days and reduced sunburn and heatstroke in its 850-sow outdoor herd. Herd owner Robert Battersby and manager Robert McGregor were concerned about heat stress during hot, sunny days, with temperature inside arcs reaching 40C or more, resulting in heat exhaustion during farrowing, higher piglet mortality and reduced boar fertility. With the bursary, LSB Pigs are exploring problems in the poultry industry and looking at the possible benefits of reducing temperatures in laying hen and broiler housing. Anyone interested in testing the paint should contact Stock Aid (01485-528578).

HOW TO ENTER:

Either fill in the coupon and return by Freepost or visit www.fwi.co.uk to access a full entry form and awards conditions.

First name …………………………… Surname ……………………………………..

Company ………………………………………………………………………………….

Address ……………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………….. Postcode …………………………………….

Please complete this form and return to: Freedom Food Ltd, Freepost SEA 4653, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9BR (0870-7540014).

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