Archive Article: 2002/08/09 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

FLEECE COMPETITION

Champion R Pedleys Wensleydale; res, C Menzies Merino.

Extra fine C Menzies Merino; res, Brian Pauls Merino.

Fine C Menzies Dorset/Lincoln x Merino; res, K R Kershaws Portland.

Medium Julie Burys Texel x Bleu de Maine; res, D Brains Llanwenog.

Cross Mrs Tregears Kerry Hill x White Face Dartmoor; res, John Hopkins Texel x Darmoor.

Lustre R Pedleys Welsleydale; res, P Quinns Cotswold.

Hill Mr & Mrs Ronald Joness Beulah; res, Mr & Mrs Ronald Joness Cheviot.

Natural coloured C Menzies Merino; res, Mr & Mrs Ronald Joness Black Welsh Mountain.

Frank Pedley (second from left) accepts the champion fleece prize, on behalf of his wife, from (l to r) Ink Langrish, British Wool Marketing Board chairman; David Storrar, RASE; and fleece judge, John Sylvester.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Flexi-coils range of front mounted cultivation equipment now includes this combination of tines and press. While the tines extend to the full width of the implement – 3m, 4m or 4m folding – the press just covers the ground between the tractors wheels. This arrangement, says the manufacturer, prevents the between-wheel-ridge developing, needs less power to operate and creates a lighter implement overall. The packer unit can be either a cast ring unit or a 750mm diameter packer roller. Price of a 4m-folding version is £3710.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

The first big shipment of oilseed rape for three years was recently loaded at Gleadell Agricultures Immingham grain terminal. The 23,500t cargo, representing about 15,000 acres of the crop, is now on its way to Mexico. Gleadells David Sheppard says the company, which paid £137-138/t ex-farm for the last boatload, is already looking for a similar tonnage to fill another, similar-sized vessel in about 10 days time, making the most of the strong international market.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

With the ability to pivot to 155í, this TB shredder from Kuhn is said to be equally at home mowing verges, ditches or open areas. Operated in an-line or offset position, the mower has an oscillating headstock to enable its 1.8m or 2.1m cutting head to follow ground contours. Equipped with a mechanical break back system, the TB shredder costs from £4430.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Another mart gives up the struggle

Another livestock market will close its gates for the last time later this year. Northampton, one of the countrys biggest cattle auctions, has seen stock numbers dwindle since it re-opened after foot-and-mouth. Its directors have decided to cut their losses from the end of October this year.

What a pity yet another market cant make a profit. Farmers want live markets and will support them because they give transparent prices and open competition. The government, on the other hand, seems determined to strangle the sector with new rules and regulations, such as the much-hated 20-day rule.

Auctioneers believe that more markets will follow Northamp- ton if restrictions and red tape remain in place. Unless government allows markets to operate without constraints, their predictions will become reality.

DEFRAso slow to tackle bovine TB

Loss of livestock, loss of milk sales disruption of breeding plans, movement restrictions – sounds sadly familiar?

You could be forgiven for imagining we are referring to the foot-and-mouth crisis. But the same dire consequences also follow a bovine TB outbreak.

But, unlike over-zealous slaughtering of livestock last year, DEFRAs response to TB continues to be depressingly slow. Waiting four years for the outcome of Krebs trials is intolerable. Farming businesses cannot afford to wait that long.

DEFRA should face up to TB now and get behind local vets and producers in their struggle to eliminate it from Britains cattle herds.

Lamb deaths are a real sickener

Imagine how youd feel walking into a field and discovering 25 of your prime lambs, ready for sale, dead. Pretty miserable, to put it mildly.

Yet every sheep producer in the UK is losing the equivalent to infectious diseases every year -£1000 off bottom line. As you contemplate buying replacement breeding stock this autumn, it is worth remembering those animals represent one of the largest potential threats to flock health.

So, as well as looking at back ends, feet and teeth, it may pay to ask about health and take sensible precautions when stock arrive on your farm. Flock health and profitability depend on it.

Farm vehicle road deaths too high

Carnage on the road. Road accidents involving farm vehicles are one of the most common causes of fatal accidents in the industry, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Nearly 80 farmers and their employees have been killed in transport related incidents over the past 10 years. So, at this busy time of the year when every minute counts, ensuring all vehicles are roadworthy makes sense for everyone.

Meanwhile, the HSE and Sussex police are making spot checks on vehicles and implements, both on the road and on the farm. Offenders risk a £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison. But whats that compared with a possible death sentence?

Weed control cutting can be false economy

One years seeding leads to seven years weeding. Theres much truth in the old saying as those who drop their guard on weed control know to their cost.

With crop values at rock bottom there is a great temptation to make severe cuts to herbicide spending. But that can all too easily become a false economy, particularly with the added risk of herbicide resistance.

Our special herbicides supplement provides a comprehensive guide to autumn weed control.

View from east not too rosy either

The prospect of east European countries joining the EU is viewed with apprehension by UK farmers. Lower labour costs, lack of red tape and assurance schemes, make east European producers hard to compete with.

But how do they view EU enlargement? With some scepticism too. Large numbers of smaller-scale farmers will have to go out of business if their industry is to modernise.

Western supermarket chains are also making big inroads in east Europe. So, their farmers are finding out what it feels like to be a small business trading with giant, ruthless retailers.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Vintage performance…an amazing 1812 tractors plough a 20ha (50-acre) field on the Cooley peninsular in Co Louth, Ireland, in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records. Organisers needed to attract 900 tractors to the event to beat the existing world record of 730 working vintage tractors, but double the number turned up and the record was well and truly smashed. The event raised over k100,000 (£63,000) for hospice charities.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Warmer weather in the last two weeks has seen maize recovering from a lack of warmth and sun so far this year, says NIAB trials manager David Mucklow. Some early varieties, are now starting to tassle, including the crop of Goldoli which has reached more than 1.8m (6ft) tall at the Somerset trial site. "Varieties with strong early vigour traits have shown through and although differences are less discernable now, the benefits are still evident in terms of the increased vegetative growth in many cases."

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

CORRECTION

Woodhouse Prince, the reserve interbreed beef champion at the Royal Welsh Show was bought at Perth bull sales in February 2001 for 7800gns and is now junior herd sire in Millington Grange Estates 70-cow pedigree Limousin herd in Yorks, not as stated last week. &#42

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

VARIABLE weather across the country has translated into variable grass growth, but quality is holding up well on Grass Watch farms.

With 5cm (2in) of rain falling in one-and-a-half hours on Richard Thompsons Cumbria-based unit last week, grass growth has taken off. "It is growing faster than recently, at about 80-85kg DM/day. Some areas of fields are particularly wet, but sandy free-draining soils make most areas ideal for grazing."

Mr Thompson hopes to cut 14ha (35 acres) of silage later this month before drying off his November calving herd.

It is a different scenario for Richard Davies in Anglesey where weather has been generally warm and dry. "We had some heavy rain towards the end of last week which greened pastures up, but would welcome more to improve growth rates. Cover is low at 2000kg DM/ha."

Despite slow grass growth, cows are yielding two litres a day more than this time last year, says Mr Davies.

Grass quality is better than in spring on Christian Foxs organic unit in Wilts. "Topping helped quality and grass is less wet than earlier in the season. Cows are yielding 22 litres/day and receiving 1kg/head of concentrate." &#42

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Competitors in the Tornado fencing competition at Sheep 2002 last week had more than their fence erecting skills tested, with rain making it difficult to get a grip on sodden ground. Winner of the competition was Garth Bradbury from Herefordshire. Jimmy Hughes, of Radnor YFC, won the Young Shepherds Pentathlon at the event which attracted more than 5000 visitors. Full report p45.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Summary of yield and quality reports based on 203 harvest contacts made by Chris Horn, FWs harvest reporter, up to Tuesday. For daily updates click on www.fwi.co.uk/harvest

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Tillage events

Keen to see working demos of cultivation and establishment kit from all the main manufacturers this autumn? Then dont miss the Tillage Events at Manor Farm, Harlton, Cambs on Sept 12 and Wester Cash Farm, Strathmiglo, Cupar, Fife, on Oct 8. Events are organised by AEA, ADAS and SAC, in association with the Royal Smithfield Show, sponsored by BASF and First National and supported by farmers weekly. More info from AEA (01733-362925) or services@aea.uk.com

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Archive Article: 2002/08/09

9 August 2002

Storms have wreaked havoc with harvest progress across the country. Here, Bob Lloyd checks the rain gauge after 36mm (1.4in) fell in just two and a half hours at John Kisbys Cherry Tree Farm, Ten Mile Bank, on the Norfolk fens last week. Pods have started to open on 12ha (30 acres) of oilseed rape that is left to cut and while 90% of the wheat is still standing, that too will start to suffer soon, says Mr Kisby. "We have 700 acres of wheat, so we could do with some sun just to get started."

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