15 June 1999
Have your say &#151 29 May-14 June, 1999

Betting on drilling dates

PERHAPS you could help me settle a wager I am engaged in with my father?

I am currently calculating seed rates and drilling dates for winter wheat and barley on our farm for next year. I have suggested (from recent college training) that first wheats should be drilled before winter barley, i.e wheat early to mid-September, barley mid- to late September.

My Father, however, thinks otherwise!

Any comments relating to seed rates and drilling dates would be gratefully acknowledged.

  • Chris Pocock, Totley Hall Farm, Totley Hall Lane, Sheffield S17 4AA
    Email: chris.p@farmersweekly.net

  • Why stop at pigs?

    THE whole of the U.K. meat industry is in tatters, leaving the the farmer at the bottom of the pile, working in a lot of cases for nothing.

    Meanwhile plenty of other businesses are making a good return out of our labours for not a lot of input on their part.

    Throughout the U.K.there are a lot of redundant slaughterhouses and processing plants that could not afford to upgrade to EU standards and therefore closed.

    Surely this is the opportunity that we as farmers have or should have been waiting for and, if we value our livelihoods, should act upon.

    Example: Form a company called, say, “Farm Fresh Foods”, then approach farmers with dairy cattle or finished beef and ask for a £5.00 per head for their average stock numbers.

    Do the same with pigs, poultry, sheep, venison and so on (though payment would have to be scaled, eg 50p per sheep, 35p per finished lamb, 5p per slaughter fowl. These contributions would entitle the farmer to shares in the company.

    The vast amount of amassed capital could then be put to use opening up our own slaughterhouses, processing/packaging plants,wholesale outlets and direct retailing outlets – the aim being to cut everyone else out of getting a slice of our pie.

    We capitalise the work, produce the product from start to finish and retain the profit within the industry, with dividends on the shares that each and every farmer purchased.

    For too long we have been divided and easily conquered. Its now time to monopolise and win.

  • MRW Hastings, Hall Farm, Begbroke, Oxfordshire
    Email: malchastings@farmersweekly.net

  • Sponsorship for agricultural students

    I AM a 16-year-old student who is hoping to pursue a career in Agricultural Engeneering (Design).

    Can anyone give me advice on sponsorship, etc.

  • Matt Thompson
    Email: Matt@crofordpigs.freeserve.co.uk

  • Betrayal by Genus?

    GENUS is said to want to create an independent consulting business with a £30 million turnover, while at the same time restructuring to launch itself on the stock market.

    While this is a common ambition of company executives seeking greater growth, career opportunities and/or a killing from share options, how dare the non-executive farmer directors contemplate making the same mistake as were made over the launch of Dairy Crest?

    This is exactly the wrong time to sell off control of the consulting business and have charges increased to already hard-pressed farmers. The flotation is incompatible with best meeting farmers needs and maintaining farmer control.

    Farmers have never needed help and advice more than in the present crisis; and that advice should continue to be impartial, at least at cost and provided by a farmer-controlled business.

    We must all vote against this crass proposal.

  • Marshall Taylor
    Email: mrgtaylor@farmersweekly.net

  • Work experience for a future vet

    I AM a 17-year-old student and hope to be a veterinary surgeon upon completing my education.

    I currently work on a voluntary basis on a mixed farm in Sheffield, but would like to gain more experience of working with livestock by visiting other farms across the country – particularly dairy farms and pig farms, since these are two areas that I would like to learn more about.

    If you own a farm yourself or know a farmer who would be willing to allow me to visit their farm for a day/week or whatever, then please get in touch.

    All replies will be gratefully received.

  • Rebecca Skeet, Sheffield
    Email: rebecca@thedryingbarn.freeserve.co.uk

  • Time to set up a national pig co-op

    I CAN see only one way to get the profit back into pigs – we farmers must set up our own co-op and control the slaughter and processing of our own quality British pigmeat.

  • Mark Thompson, Bridge Farm, Market Weighton, Yorkshire
    Email: mark_phillip.thompson@virgin.net