Farmer Focus Arable: LAMMA shopping list short, says Will Howe

What a pleasure travelling to LAMMA was this year after all the queues and congestion of the previous show. Whether we have to thank the event co-ordinators or the lorry fire on the A1 I am not sure, but there was not a queue of traffic in sight.

There was only a short personal viewing list this year; only two machines were of particular interest to be honest. Unfortunately heavy cultivation equipment currently seems to be out of vogue so manufacturers appeared to only be displaying their “boys” land machines, with the notable exception of Sumo.

There is an element of sympathy with machinery manufacturers when the UK is such a tiny market; they need to be designing equipment for export. But does this mean that there is no ongoing research and design into the cold and wet clay soils I am faced with?

This point was amplified even further while watching Jimmy Doherty’s fine series on agriculture around the globe. In Brazil there are single farms that have their own laboratories, and this is with whom we are now competing.

It would be interesting how such a programme about the British Agricultural Industry would be perceived by the general public, and if the realisation that land is a scarce commodity might shift the general consensus on genetically modified crops. “Roundup Ready” wheat would certainly get my vote, as Atlantis’ power wanes.

The previous week to LAMMA, I was thrilled to be hosting one of a series of joint meetings organised by TAG and Woldmarsh discussing current agronomic issues and grain storage. My excitement though reached fever pitch when the guest speaker informed me of my drying costs, and how they compared favourably with others. That must surely earn me a pay rise!

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