Farmer Focus Arable: Sugar beet acreage is a concern for Richard Cobbald

Following on from last month’s article, I am extremely pleased that the great sugar beet debate has been concluded and in a favourable fashion. The only downside since the contract offers have come out is the lottery surrounding the gaining of extra/temporary tonnage.

Six months ago it seemed fairly certain we would get the tonnage to be able to double our acreage; it has now come down to who’s fax machine works the quickest. It is a lottery, but enough said, let’s hope the two parties can thrash out a long-term deal to suit us all.

Lifting this year’s crop will start very soon. I imagine the sugars will be high which will help with the yield after the tonnage is adjusted. The crop has seemed to hang on well through the dry spell, so we have relatively high hopes for the crop, and unless wheat prices go crazy, it will again be our most profitable crop after a one year blip.

We have now finished drilling and on the whole most of the ground has gone in very well but dry. The recent rains in Cambridgeshire/Suffolk didn’t really get to us so we have a patchwork look to our wheat emergence. However the rain did really kick start the oilseed rape, so will hopefully set the crop up for the winter.

Last night I sat down to watch TV and found a programme about farmers wanting to acquire a wife. What extraordinary viewing it was. I shall not be watching again but it was slightly more interesting than the football. If loneliness is a problem and you want to be popular, I suggest you announce you want to buy a combine. Plenty of people will rush to see you, without the need to make a fool of yourself on TV.

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