Farmer Focus Arable: ACCS inspection baffles Richard Beachell

A recent ACCS inspection has left me a bit confused. Since cross compliance and all the GAECs entered the farming vocabulary, I have had to manage my fields, hedgerows and two-metre strips sympathetically so that it encourages more birds onto the farm.

However, reading through my ACCS manual, I discovered a new revised paragraph stating that I must now actively discourage birds from coming within the vicinity of the farmyard and that I must deny them roosting and nesting sites. I am now seeking clarification from those in authority to quantify how big an area the “farmyard vicinity” is so that I can put some noticeboards up telling my birds (the ones I have spent so long attracting onto the farm) where they are allowed to go. What’s really worrying is that we have a bird table in the garden which is adjacent to the farmyard. I have also banned the kids from having a budgie as a pet.

I would also like to appeal to Syngenta to formulate Thiovit Jet as a liquid instead of a powder. Most years I have to treat our vining peas with this product to control downy mildew. At a rate of 10 kg/ha I can spend over an hour trying to mix this powder into a form that will be accepted by the sprayer’s induction hopper. Then, with my nasal hairs having been burnt off from trying to mix it, I find all my boom lines become blocked first time round the field. A more user-friendly form would make me much happier.

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