Steven Bumstead - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £133
Saving £46
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

Steven Bumstead

12 April 2002

Steven Bumstead

Steven Bumstead farms

148ha (365-acre) from

Ouse Bank Farm, Great

Barford, Beds. He is a first

generation farmer and

council tenant, growing

combinable crops on three

blocks of land. He supports

LEAF and is the FWAG

county treasurer

IHAVE finished drilling – wonders will never cease. Well, almost. Part of Memorial Field near Sandy is still under 10cm (4 in) of water and set-aside could be the only practical solution.

More forward Malacca and Option wheats have had 85 kg/ha of ammonium nitrate (70 units/acre). In mid-March, most had a spring roll to firm the plants in, encourage tillering, and crack over-wintered clods.

Spring spray programs so far consist of a tank-mix of 25g/ha of Ally (metsulfuron-methyl), 0.5-0.6 litres/ha of Starane (fluroxypyr) and 1 litre/ha of manganese sulphate. A couple of fields with bad blackgrass patches have had a 125ml/ha dose of Topik (clodinafop-propargyl) plus methylated rapeseed oil. The pgrs applied will be chlormequat or Cycocel (chlormequat + choline chloride) only.

My entire wheat area is split 46% Group 1 and 54% Group 2, all varieties that are in demand from the millers within 50 miles of my farms. I hope they can offer a decent premium above feed, assuming I can supply to the specifications they require. Perhaps I should talk to them. Maybe all farmers should become a lot closer to their customers. Time to resurrect the excellent Meet the Miller visits from a few years back. Can anybody help?

Rightly or wrongly, the NFU is taking a bit of a bashing from some fairly prominent arable farmers. I have mixed feelings on the issue. I know the regional staff at Newmarket work extremely hard for members and in many cases to the benefit of non-members, too.

However, at the top table level it is my opinion that it is the preserve of the chosen cliquey few and their mates. Ragamuffins such as me do not get a look in. That attitude extends to certain other committees of levy-funded organisations for which the NFU nominates candidates.

There is a huge pool of talent in our industry with many more than able, willing grassroots members. The NFU is ignoring them and it does so at its peril. &#42

Beds grower Steven Bumstead wants to "meet the miller". All his wheat is Group 1 and Group 2 this year.

    Read more on:
  • News

Steven Bumstead

15 March 2002

Steven Bumstead

Steve Bumstead farms

148ha (365-acre) from

Ouse Bank Farm, Great

Barford, Beds. He is a first

generation farmer and

council tenant, growing

combinable crops on three

blocks of land. He supports

LEAF and is the FWAG

county treasurer

HINDSIGHT is a wonderful thing; for instance, why oh why did I not buy a November 2002 option back in January?

For the past two years, I have used this method of hedging on about 60% of my anticipated wheat crop. Since then, of course, the grain markets have been in freefall, not just new crop market, but old season as well. What is worse, it seems this extreme bear market has caught out nearly all the traders too.

However, there is a lonely school of thought that anticipates a late-season rally. As my harvest 2001 wheat crop is locked into a Viking Cereals long pool, I can only hope our traders hit that elusive market. This is one white-knuckle ride I can do with out and it is severely trying my sense of humour – almost as much as the suggestion that we may end up with Stephen Byers at DEFRA.

Last week I attended the Newmarket round of the farmers weekly/BASF conferences. Although the delegate list read like a Whos Who of farming, I was invited too. The speakers were tip-top calibre with the most stimulating part of the day being the break-out group sessions.

Fixed costs, machinery replacement policy and labour were discussed and rents given an airing. As this is a subject dear to my heart, I was especially interested in David Bolton of Andersons suggestion that the sale value of a tonne of wheat, feed of course, say in December of a given year, should be used for FBT rent reviews or as a tender formula.

As a farmer who both wishes and needs to expand this looks a fair and common sense method. Whether or not it finds favour with the land agent brogue brigade remains to be seen.

By the time you read this, I hope to have finished drilling Chablis spring wheat. The land was still ploughing up wet last week and required a few days drying wind ahead of the Kongskilde combination drill. &#42

Grain markets are one white-knuckle ride Steven Bumstead says he could do without. But why not base rents on feed wheat values?

    Read more on:
  • News
blog comments powered by Disqus