Farmer Focus: Richard Cobbald agrees with Oliver Walston

In spring we took delivery of a new Vaderstad Rexius twin furrow press – not something that normally sends blood coursing through the veins. But on this occasion it resulted in an unexpected bonus – a three-day trip to the Swedish factory.

A group of farmers from Essex, Cambridgeshire and Kent had a real insight into the machinery range not to mention beer, axe throwing, dubious dog training methods, more beer and a town with no people.

Thanks to John Noble for a great trip – may I go again next year?

While on the subject of the unexpected, a strange thing has occurred recently in that I’ve found myself agreeing with Oliver Walston.

It came about because of his views on how to deal with British Sugar’s contract price offer.

“Rise up against the mighty monopoly” is the rallying cry and I tend to agree.

Sugar beet still has a place on our estate, but with margins being pushed so hard it’s definitely under threat.

I for one will follow Mr Walston into battle should a large gathering of growers assemble and I suggest fellow farmers do the same. United action might actually get our point across.

It’s all well and good for the NFU to keep saying that the deal is no good. But if all we do is sit back, agree, and yet do nothing, what will change? What harm could a growers’ meeting possibly do?

With harvest fast approaching the young Kiwi guys just want to get going to swell their bank accounts. As for me, while there is still an element of excitement in seeing how things yield and in anticipating the start of a fresh year, I have to say the appeal of three months of summer madness has worn off slightly over the years.

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