Farmer Focus Arable: Will Howe ponders new farm projects

Having just fixed the exchange rate for my Single Farm Payment, I thought I had better watch “Captain Darling’s” Budget speech to assess what impact his changes may have on the value of the pound.

Unfortunately, the increase in fuel and alcohol duty, including the incessant booing and cheering, made me switch off. Can these squabbling and petty people really be qualified to run our country?

It’s amazing what difference a week can make. All the crops are growing nicely after a dose of nitrogen and at one stage the sprayer was being followed round the field by a cloud of dust. The cold and the snow are just a distant memory as the area has turned dark green.

It’s a shame though that my excitement at getting a top specification Lincolnshire-built sprayer 18 months ago has turned to disappointment. Having had more problems than I have fingers and toes, it was with considerable irritation that I spotted a crack in the chassis. It’s fair to say that my patience is being sorely tested.

The good weather is also allowing us to make progress on the new house. However, the weather delayed us by two months, so our hope of moving in before harvest seems unrealistic. We were comforted though when the builder told us: “Don’t panic, it’ll be ready when it’s ready”. Hopefully, he’s right.

The house is this year’s project, but my mind has drifted to next year’s. My wife thinks it should benefit her, whether it is a business kitchen extension or the setting up of an outdoor pig unit. It appears to be impossible to find any Freedom Food, or outdoor reared pigs which are not grown on contract. Any growers who can help please contact me – before I have to do the noble thing.

• Read more from Will Howe here.

• See our other Arable Farmer Focus writers.

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