Farmer Focus: Farming and Farmer Focus column set for change

After nine years as a Focus writer it’s my turn to pass the baton to somebody new. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to put down in print some of my views on a wide range of topics.

This used to be a farm diary-type spot and is now becoming much more interesting as contributors voice their opinions on a more varied range of topics.

I hope in some small way I have played my part in this move. For those of you following my work on variable applications it will be available elsewhere.

See also: Variable seed rates show some big benefits

The fertiliser market, in particular ammonium nitrate, has become distorted over the past couple of years.

The lack of competition has led to manufacturers incrementally hiking prices. The period from the June announcement of new season terms until the end of 2018 saw an increase of some 25%. This is despite the fall in EU gas prices.

While I am quite happy to pre-book my requirements in June, I don’t want fertiliser delivered on farm before or during harvest. As it turned out, my July order actually got delivered in November.

Pulling together

It is important to keep encouraging the industry to pull together. Farming is set for a massive change.

For example, we need to highlight to our consumers the fact that we could end up importing food produced to much lower standards than our own.

In particular, after leaving the EU, cheap food produced using techniques, systems and pesticides outlawed in this country will be imported.

Under world trade laws you cannot ban food because it is produced to different standards. It’s good to see that the NFU is now looking at this.

Finally, thanks to my wife Liz for acting as editor-in-chief and mostly getting to grips with my random thought processes.

Need a contractor?

Find one now