Farmer focus: Hendrik Visser

FLAX DRILLING, which started last week, is always a precise job. With seed costing 200/ha you don”t want to be drilling too much – we drill about 120kg/ha. Our drill is accurate drilling wheat, but with flax you must pay attention.

If the weather is good we will put 35t of pig manure on our wheat which, if done the right way, is the cheapest way of applying fertiliser. At the moment we pay about 25/t for the contractor to apply it, but prices rise if there is a big demand. Next year there will be tighter laws for applying manure, as well as new nitrogen and phosphate laws, which will restrict the amount of each we can apply. With this new law the pig farmers will pay the bill, as arable growers will take less manure. Five years ago we had a similar situation. Back then arable growers would actually get paid up to 5/t to apply manure. We will see what happens this time.

 At times like this the day is too short to do everything in one day. Rushing doesn”t help you do a better job – there is a bigger chance of making mistakes and machinery breaks down sooner. But still I am rushing; I try to stop myself by saying these things but it doesn”t help much. Older people say to me: “Hendrik, your time will come when you can take it a bit lighter.” Well, I hope so, but at the moment Hendrik is rushing to make euros.

Fortunately they started hauling our potatoes today. Red-skinned potatoes are getting on a higher price level, but still prices are only 3-5/ha. At least the weather is good at the moment. It takes your mind off the dramatic prices we are dealing with at the moment.