Andrew Blenkiron ponders the future of Cereals

Was it just me or was this year’s Cereal event a bit flat? Was it the fact that all of those in the Cambridgeshire Mafia had to travel north yet again or was it the weather?

Perhaps it was the fact that people were having to get the sprayer out again to protect their crops from septoria, the ever-increasing input costs, or the machinery cost spiral that is almost out of control pushing that ever shinny kit well out of reach of most. Maybe it was just that I went on the second day.

No matter what it was, things just weren’t right, although I don’t hold with one of the throwaway comments I heard in that the event has had its day. I wonder what direction the event is going to take to stay ahead of the game? It was evident that competition for our spend was great, with every conceivable item that we could ever wish for being so readily available. That begs a question in itself, surely all those present are going to struggle to make a living out of what is a compact and supposedly streamlined industry.

With the total rainfall here at Euston now exceeding what we had in total last year, we must be on target for a good light land cereal harvest, so long as the sun shines to put a bit of energy into the crop that is. I certainly enjoyed showing around my old pals and some new ones at one of the recently hosted farm walks, indeed everything looked exceptionally well, so I had better prepare for a fall. No doubt that will have come in the form of the bank manager, who will have been for his annual visit by the time that you read this.

For those of you in the Harper Class of ’87, don’t forget the 14 July reunion.

Andrew Blenkiron manages the 4,400ha Euston Estate, south of Thetford. Principal farm enterprises are combinable and root crops, including sugar beet. In addition the estate supports let land, sheep, outdoor pigs, poultry, suckler cows, horses and stewardship.

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