Farmer Focus: Joining the food strategy advisory panel

I am currently in the middle of a three-week course at the Royal Agricultural University as part of the Worshipful Company of Farmers advanced course in agricultural business management.

I have met 18 other delegates from across the industry with a variety of backgrounds, all of whom share a drive and determination for agriculture in the UK.

The guest speakers have been top of class and discussion stimulating.

See also: How grain analysis can help farmers hit wheat protein specs

To be surrounded by such positivity at a time where the weather is trying all of us to the max is certainly helping me.

It’s important to recognise the hard work put in by everyone at the farm especially when things are stress-tested like they are this autumn.

The extra bit of preparation to ensure we grab every opportunity has been key.

Unrolled seed-beds

Winter barley is currently looking well and received Liberator (diflufenican + flufenacet) post-emergence herbicide.

Winter oats established well and again were planted in early October, but into unrolled seedbeds.

Hurricane (diflufenican) was applied post-emergence to minimise any phytotoxic effects.

Barley yellow dwarf virus insecticide and manganese have been applied, so fingers crossed the crop is now safe.

Some early drilled wheat following beans received post-em flurasulam, and again insecticide and manganese.

Wheat drilled later in October is emerging, however, slug pressure is high, and following OSR with no Deter in unrolled seedbeds is a risk, especially with our high stone content.

Rams went out with ewes grazing phacelia cover crop behind electric in good time earlier this month, with the ewes in good condition.

Lambs now on to stubble turnips and quickly getting the taste for the bulbs!

I was really pleased to be asked to join the other 24 delegates who will make up the advisory panel on the national food strategy and take part in discussion while challenging ideas and proposals.

This is a great opportunity as a farmer to be sat with the policy makers looking at the whole food sector and helping steer direction as we move forward.

Looking at some of the pictures that have been in the press over the past few weeks and hearing horror stories from friends who have lost crops or been able to plant very little, I can only hope things improve for them soon. I am, and I’m sure many others are, thinking of you.