Farmer Focus: Newark biofuels trip for Martin Lawrenson

I was hoping I would be able to report on a successful and complete potato harvest in this month’s article, but once again the weather has conspired to thwart my best intentions.

After finishing harvest we have again had poor weather and have only been able to lift 4ha (10 acres) of potatoes. Nor have we drilled hardly any winter crops. All we have sown is the grass seeds.

As I have been fighting a losing battle against the elements I decided to give the wife a rest from my grumpiness and take a trip down to the Biofuels exhibition at Newark Showground. By the time I arrived I was in a worse state than when I set off. Not only did I get stuck in the mother of all traffic jams on the M61 but then foolishly followed my sat nav’s directions into an area of Manchester which I think, judging by the burnt out cars and roaming gangs of hoodies, was better avoided.

All this was happening as the rain continued to fall. As I finally found my way onto the M62 and crossed the Pennine moors an amazing thing happened. I saw some blue sky.

As I travelled further and joined the A1 I was seeing tractors ploughing and sowing in every other field. It really made my spirits rise. After several near accidents due to peering over hedges I arrived only to be greeted by a group of eco warriors demonstrating about climate change.

One young man, who looked like he could have done with a good wash and a hair cut, approached me to tell me I was ruining the environment and causing droughts and water shortages. Luckily for him there were police in attendance or I might have done something I would regret.

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