Archive Article: 2002/08/16 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Growing what consumers want… Greengro veg from high-tech polycarbonate tunnels is pesticide-free and more uniform and enviro-friendly than imported produce, says Unigros Angus Padfield (right). That will please the supermarkets and NFU president, Ben Gill. Farms are now wanted to enter joint-venture agreements which will help fund the £175,000 a tunnel cost, with 25% margins claimed. Main backer, Billings Farms Group, Kent, is hosting the first 20 units with Greengro stir-fry oriental vegetables due on supermarket shelves this autumn. More details in Arable next week.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

You think youve got delivery problems. This New Holland TC40D compact tractor was recently delivered to Skomer Island – a nature reserve off the Pembrokeshire coast – by an ex-Army M2B bridging and ferrying vehicle. With no dealer based on the 413ha (1020-acre) island, the tractor needed to be modified to customer specification pre-voyage. These included fitting a front linkage for pulling in boats, a snorkel exhaust and a link box for carrying gas bottles and visitors luggage.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Storms gave way to sunshine in the south this week, and not a moment too soon for many crops. Here, Mark Woodroff inspects Millenium winter oats, which later yielded a pleasing 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) at Hundreds Farm, Crowland, on the Lincs/ Cambs border.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Emma Woolley from Great Asby, Cumbria won the BTO Toby Tankard on her five-year-old mare Lunesdale Mountain Princess at the Fell Pony Societys breed show at Brougham Hall Farm, Penrith and also took the Tabelin Trophy.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

CORRECTION

DUE to a computer error beyond our control the livestock auction figures in last weeks markets section of farmers weekly were repeated from the previous issue. We would like to thank all of our readers who pointed out this unfortunate error and apologise for any inconvenience caused. &#42

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Organic cows in A Turner and Sons 90-cow herd at Little Bytham, near Stamford, Lincs, can look forward to some fully organic Trinidad triticale in their diet this winter. Despite awful harvesting conditions across the country last week, this 6ha (15-acre) crop was brought in at 15% moisture. It yielded about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Classic example of DEFRAs indifference

On Thurs, Aug 8, Brussels gave permission for livestock farmers facing fodder shortages in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of England, to graze or mow their set-aside land.

Within minutes, the Department of Agriculture and Food in Dublin issued a statement, informing farmers throughout the republic of the change.

The Department of Agricul-ture and Rural Development in Belfast issued a similar notice the next day.

The Scottish Executive waited just five days to let its farmers know they could move into set-aside fields ahead of the usual Sept 1 deadline.

By contrast, DEFRA says it has no plans to comment. Yet another example of Whitehalls supreme indifference.

20-day standstill rule concessions welcome

Hats-off to all those industry leaders who have worked tirelessly to persuade government to make concessions to the 20-day standstill rule.

The changes are not ideal, but at last politicians and civil servants appear to have acknowledged UK farmers cant operate competitively with restrictions in place.

Although the rule changes will be difficult to operate and add to cost and bureaucracy, they will help breeding stock move onto farms this autumn.

But given no re-emergence of foot-and-mouth during that period, the standstill must be lifted.

Sprays and Sprayers merged with Cereals

Given the dire state of arable farming, news that Europes premier spraying technology event, Sprays and Sprayers, organised by Syngenta, is to be incorporated into the annual Cereals Event will come as no surprise.

For more than 20 years, Sprays and Sprayers has provided a valuable insight into best practice and the latest developments in spray application. So, with pesticide use under such severe public scrutiny, its demise as a stand-alone event will be sorely missed.

We are confident the Royal Agricultural Society of England and Syngenta will work together to ensure next years Sprays and Sprayers feature continues to get its important messages across at the UKs top arable event.

FWCbranch finds useful grant funds

Its good to relax and unwind with people who understand the stresses of farming. As thousands of our female readers will testify, FARMERS WEEKLYs Farm Womens Club fulfils that role admirably.

Were delighted its efforts, particularly during the foot-and-mouth crisis, have been recognised by the Welsh Assembly. It has awarded Denbighshires FWC group £1800 over two years through its Rural Regeneration Plan to help members fund running costs.

Grants could be available in other parts of the UK, so why not inquire with your local voluntary services council and hopefully, secure your club a cash boost?

Are you Contractor of the Year?

Good workers deserve to be rewarded. And agricultural contractors are no exception.

But, just as in all walks of life, there are good ones and there are not-so-good ones – contractors who are reliable and perform well, and contractors whose promises dont always live up to customers expectations.

FARMERS WEEKLYs Cont- ractor of the Year competition gives you a great opportunity to nominate, and reward, a contractor who makes a significant input into the successful running of your business.

The prizes are high for both farmer and winning contractor.

Special care needed for winter feeding

Getting the best from livestock means treating them like world-class athletes. It requires good housing, health care and, above all, excellent nutrition.

Working out their winter rations always necessitates care. But extra caution may be needed this year for those thinking about changing their strategy because of poor forage quality and the plentiful supply of low-priced cereals.

But if you intend to make any drastic changes it will pay to take advice on the safe levels of different feeds in rations, as our Winter Feeding Special explains.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

A total of 1702 tractors were sold in the UK during July, according to latest data released by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). This is an increase of 12.1% on the same period last year and brings the year-to-date figure to 9060 units – 33% higher than this time last year.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Kuhns Axera and MDS 1141 fertiliser spreaders now benefit from a hopper with a capacity of 3500kg rather than 3000kg, while the MDS 1131 has a 2300kg instead of a 2000kg hopper. Axera-MW models are also available with the companys cab-operated Telemat border spreading system – and all spreaders are fitted with road lights as standard. Prices remain as before.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

Its not all about high power, high outputs and high prices. Okehampton-based Stuart Pattison uses this horse-powered machine for a number of tasks. Drive from the landwheels, via a three-speed gearbox, provides a three-speed pto and also drives an alternator to charge a 12v battery. Power from this battery is then used to run a hydraulic motor which operates the units three-point linkage. Mr Pattison says there are no fumes, no vibration and the whole unit is blissfully silent in operation.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/16

16 August 2002

SUSTAINABLE FARMING: 9

ENERGYEFFICIENCY

Moving to non-inversion tillage will help increase energy efficiency on the farm as well as bringing big benefits to the environment, believes Northamptonshire LEAF demonstration farmer Duncan Farrington.

"Where minimum tillage is carried out correctly there is a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. It can also help weed control, improve soil and root structure and assist straw breakdown."

A good place for growers to start is to monitor fuel use by recording machinery gauges, he continues. "That gives you an immediate comparison between cultivation techniques. And it can also be used to compare current with past performance."

A record of the time taken per hectare from stubble to drilling is another useful indicator. But making comparisons between the energy input and output from any one farming system is difficult to do, acknowledges Mr Farrington.

"Theres a lack of information for this type of exercise," he notes.

The next step is to have some energy balance data, he believes. "We need to know whether using glyphosate and stale seed-beds is more efficient than ploughing. But until we are aware of the amount of energy used to manufacture pesticides, that is impossible to do."

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The UK Government is committed to a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2010, continues Mr Farrington. "Farmers in Spain and parts of Germany are already paid to practice non-inversion tillage. So all the indications are that it has a real energy benefit."

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