Farmer Focus Arable: Ploughing under way for Martin Lawrenson

Things are getting a bit hectic around here. The weather’s been pretty good allowing us to get going with the fieldwork and we’re still harvesting potatoes from last year.

Although we’re very busy I do feel excited by spring’s arrival, and the early mornings out ploughing are probably some of the most enjoyable of the year.

Hedges are coming into leaf and several pairs of wild ducks have become very brave, coming into the barns – presumably looking for somewhere to nest. This seems to happen every year so I wonder whether they are the same ones each time.

Also this year we are seeing the return of carrots to the farm. We started growing them in 1978 we gave up in 2003 after several disappointing years struggling to find a market for them and ploughing quite a few in.

This time we are renting the land out for someone else to have a go, although we will be doing most of the work to establish and look after them.

We have also just started work on erecting a new poultry shed which we are building to expand our pullet rearing enterprise.

While looking for finance for the shed we went to our bank to see what they were offering on loans. We were surprised when they came back with a totally uncompetitive rate and exorbitant setting up fees.

When we went back with quotes from other banks and the AMC, we were told that the offer was non-negotiable. As that particular bank was recently rescued by taxpayers it makes you wonder why we bothered.

As it turned out we changed banks, for the first time ever, and went with the Yorkshire which seems to be more rural minded and focused on working with us to grow our business.

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