FARMER FOCUS: Robert Law finally clears out his office

One way to ensure that my New Year resolutions were adhered to was to put them into my early January Farmer Focus piece, writes Robert Law

My farm office has been cleared out for the first time in 17 years, the task is almost complete and I’ll admit to filling the 1t grain bucket four times during this operation

The loft has been cleared of all pre-2005 material and we are now back in. The upheaval has been immense and we have ended up replastering the walls and screeding the floor again. I have promised my secretary of some 13 years standing that we will have annual chucking out session in the first week of January every year. With the move to storing everything electronically, our task should be made easier.

Hamish Stewart, who has been the arable manager here for the past four years, has moved on to head the growing of 2,800ha of poppies in the southern counties, these are used to produce morphine and codeine. His replacement, David Hurst, started in early February, although originating from North Lincolnshire David attended University in Scotland and had a spell working on farms up in Perthshire before moving down to Royston. While looking through the CVs, it was interesting to see how many were from people who had left the industry in the last five-to-10 years and were looking to make a return.

The Future of Farming review, with which I am involved, started last month. There seems to be interest and goodwill from all quarters in our quest to do what we can to find ways of attracting new entrants into farming. Judging from our meeting the other day it is going to be far from a talking shop.

One interesting statistic to emerge was that 50% of children make their career decision by the age of 12.My youngest, Lydia, is 12 next year and already tells me she wants to go to Harper and come back and farm!

Former Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year Robert Law farms 1,200ha on the Hertfordshire/Cambridgeshire/Essex borders growing cereals, peas, forage rape for seed and sugar beet. He also manages 500ha of Nottinghamshire sandland.

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