Farmer Focus: Neil Thomson says good riddance to 2008

Not many farmers in the Borders will want to remember 2008. There was so much promise at the start of the year, crops looked well and prices were buoyant, even input costs were bearable.

Roll on 12 months and suddenly the picture is not rosy. After one of the most trying harvests in living memory, you begin to wonder if the dice are loaded against you.

Despite this, like most farmers we will continue doing what we do, trying to have the ducks lined up in hope for the day the pendulum swings the other way.

This, however, can only go on for so long. Sooner or later people go bust, their capital eaten away, waiting for that day.

David Richardson’s article An economic conundrum (14 November), after he’d been in discussion with an economist, proved to me that global farming PLC is heading for disaster if we listen to economists.

One day they will realise that we can’t rely on the market alone to feed people.

On a lighter note, I’ve not been the most popular person in the neighbourhood recently. We have applied a healthy dollop of hen manure to some of our land, causing an unpleasant pong. But you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

The spreader used has managed to get it on evenly at 10 acres/hr. The stuff is rocket fuel, and if ploughed down immediately avoids some of the grief from neighbours.

One of whom you know had to do his own bit of grovelling recently.

A lady obligingly stopped her car to let the neighbour and his cows pass on the main road at “rush” hour. Unfortunately, one of them decided to lash out with her hind legs and modified the car a little. Shame really.

Merry Christmas, everybody.


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