Farmer Focus: Edward Tupper, February column

By the time you read this, I hope the England rugby team will have recovered from their shocking display against the Welsh and given the Italians a right good thrashing.

The recent high winds did not cause too much damage to buildings around here, but there will be an abundance of chainsaw work required this spring to clear fallen trees now lying on headlands.

Who knows, maybe people will turn again to wood as a way of heating their homes instead of relying on increasingly expensive electricity.

Autumn spraying is now complete, and I was surprised by how well the sprayer travelled after all the wet weather. I am sure it has something to do with our not ploughing and putting as much organic matter back into the soil.

With the cost of fertiliser rocketing, I feel that the price of straw will have to rise to reflect the loss of P and K from the soil. I also anticipate an interesting debate about where to draw the line in terms of extra diesel to power the straw chopper and the true cost of fertiliser. Answers, please.

With the rising cost of arable inputs, both the sprayer and fertiliser spreader will be given their annual tests.

After last year’s fantastic effort in striping some wheat fields with a sulphur product we will be using a liquid equivalent to try to eliminate the problem. Let’s hope the supply problems of last year do not happen again.

An example of bureaucracy gone mad: After some thieving ******* stole my quad bike, the police thought it necessary to get me to sign a statement saying that I had not given the person or persons permission to steal my bike.

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