Farmer Focus Arable: Richard Cobbald adds support to local shows

I was sad to hear of the Royal Show’s demise as it followed Smithfield into the realms of the past.

A great institution at the heart of agriculture it has suffered at the hands of a much changed industry. It has become unattractive to machinery companies and to farmers showing their animals, and more like large country/equestrian fairs.

The message is that it’s even more important for us to all back our local county shows like the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire ones that I support. If nothing else it’s a chance to catch up with a few people who I don’t see so much now.

Recent welcome rain will hopefully perk up our thirsty crops, but with booting well on its way it’s already plain to see that the very wet autumn and dry spring has taken its toll.

However it does seem that it’s a fairly similar story in large parts of Europe and the mid-west; so let’s hope prices will help to offset the yield shortfall.

My big worry is getting the game covers to come up. They have been decidedly slow sitting in their bone dry seed-beds but will hopefully start to come now they’ve had a bit of moisture.

With about 100 acres of maize it’s a very important crop and is the most visible on the estate – so fingers crossed.

I was told a funny tale when at Whipsnade Zoo the other day. Apparently a chap had used his work van to take his children to a safari park as his car was dead.

Now you might think what a silly man – the monkeys are bound to pull the windscreen wipers off. I guess that’s what he must have wished after the van was charged by a rhino. Explain that one to the boss!

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