FARMER FOCUS: Allan Chambers welcomes CAP incentives

With details of the new CAP regime from 2015 becoming clearer, it is good to see that more food producing incentive payments will be directed towards younger farmers.

Our industry lacks new blood and hopefully a 25% top-up of the single farm payment for under 40s, who are head of holding, will encourage the older generation to hand over the reins.

There are ways to stay involved, not least share farming. To date my own experience has only been positive and I expect it to remain so.

Six months of perfect weather has been a boost to all who work the land. On our own farm, we are right up to date. Stubble turnips, destined for rental to sheep flock owners, now have full ground cover and are beginning to fill the bulbs.

With this crop, we followed the RB209 Fertiliser Manual recommendation for a nitrogen application of 70kg/ha on most of the area, but I felt this was over the top. In order to find out if a lower spend can give equal production, we varied the application from 0-80kg/ha across one field, and so far I can see no difference. Soil organic matters of 5% plus must be a big help.

The Hyvido Volume winter barley has peeped up this morning and will be sprayed with Liberator (diflufenican + flufenacet) and an insecticide shortly. The 18m tramlines are 18m – well done, Thomas. Our let out potato ground will be cleared in one more day, and last year’s unused winter wheat seed will be planted as quickly as possible. A germination test showed 96% for Horatio.

Forage maize is destined for chopping the week beginning 21 October. Last week we hosted a crop walk and talk on the use of plastic film for this tropical plant, and the visiting experts were predicting a yield of 65t/ha at 30% dry matter. That would be magic.

Mistake of the month: I knew the 25mm water supply pipe was there, but thought the fencing post being hammered into the ground was bound to miss it. Wrong again!

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