Farmer Focus Arable: Richard Cobbald maps out government spending cuts

About this time last year I wrote in this column that I had just finished submitting my Single Farm Payment forms online, and almost boastfully claimed how easy it was.


Well the gods from the RPA obviously decided that my comments were out of order and farmers should have to sweat for their money.

They came up with a wonderful plan: Let’s remap the farm – that should cause him a suitable amount of grief. Then when he sends the maps back with all the corrections, we will ignore them and make it all up as we go along, so making his SP5 a nightmare.

Blackadder’s Baldrick would no doubt have observed “A cunning plan”. Mind you, he could probably get himself a high powered job at the RPA based on current performance. I would suggest to the next prime minister that the Rural Land Registry and RPA would be very good places to look to save money on Civil Service wages, a suggestion being to start at the very top. I know a lot has been said about this of late but I’ll add my bit too. Incompetence on this level is what you expect from a third world government, not one of the major world economies.

The worst of the work is done now on the estate and apart from spraying, we can finally get on with the maintenance and the odd jobs that usually stack up before harvest.

Like most farms now operating with the minimum amount of staff, there is rarely a dull day here. However, dull wet days would be very welcome as we are still a bit on the dry side and our maize covers are not moving at all. With 40ha of bird cover here, it is a very important crop and gains the most exposure, so it must be right.

• To read more from Richard Cobbald click here or to see more from our other arable farmer focus writers click here.