Career statistic worries Will Howe

Will Howe farms 384ha (950 acres) of medium to heavy land at Ewerby Thorpe Farm, near Sleaford, Lincs, growing wheat, oilseed rape and winter beans

One more down and four to go. Last week a good friend from university announced he was leaving the pig industry, having had enough of working every hour God sent for scant reward. From an intake of 25 students graduating in 2002, there are only four of us left in day-to-day farm management – a worrying statistic.

This was compounded by a rare expedition to a well-known supermarket where I overheard two women bemoaning the cost of meat. Luckily my LEAF communication training worked, and I resisted the temptation to tell them exactly how much it costs to produce a 2p sausage. And then, one shelf later, the only British lamb on display was in two packs of mince. At least nothing is standing in the way of national food security!

There was a more buoyant mood at Cereals. It was helped by good weather, even better corporate hospitality, and prices heading in the right direction.

I must have been the only person cancelling combine demonstrations rather than booking them. There seems little point in wasting sales people’s time when other costs are escalating.

My only suggestion to improve the day would be to rectify the car parking fiasco. Taking the first exit it took an hour to get back to Sleaford – taking the second it was closer to two and a half.

Oh, and would it be possible for the scantily-clad Landini ladies to make a come-back?

With the season’s spraying over, bar desiccation, thoughts are rapidly turning to harvest preparations. The iPod is charged, I have a 1,000-litre IBC of Lucozade ordered, and the lunch bag is poised. Have I missed anything?

If I am not here next month, don’t panic. You will possibly find me on the A1 driving fuel lorries. Every man has his price!

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