Farmer Focus: Signing off with an 11-point plan for farmers

Thanks to the hard-working farm team, autumn drilling is completed and most actives applied.

We are entering 2021 with the farm in much better shape than a year ago.

Particularly pleasing is how OSR has established so well; where did all the cabbage stem flea beetle go?

In-house Avadex (Tri-Allate) applications have improved autumn blackgrass control in cereal crops and late crops are finally growing away from persistent rooks.

Having contributed to Farmer Focus for five years, I’ve decided it’s time to hang up my pen, so this will be my last article. Much has happened over this time.

See also:Maize trials show soil benefits of undersown grass mixes 

When I started, “Brexit” wasn’t a word anyone knew of and the pandemic was the Spanish flu of 1918.

This year has, in most respects, been a horrible one that I think we all want to put behind us.

No money left

However, the reality is that the nation’s finances are totally shot by Covid-19. Our industry, like many others, will have to get used to the reality of smaller support budgets because, simply put, “there’s no money left”.

I have little confidence that the Environmental Land Management scheme will be fit for purpose.

They say: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”; I fear this idiom may become the industry’s maxim for the 2030s.

Boris recently launched a “10-point Green plan”. Regrettably, there wasn’t anything there for farming that has so much potential.

It got me thinking of my own 11-point plan (one up on Boris) that I would suggest for farmers to help steer them through the choppy waters ahead.

I will sign off with this hopefully constructive assortment:

  1. Put your own physical and mental health first. Use appropriate PPE
  2. Always be well armed with a full grease gun
  3. Sell off any surplus kit you haven’t used for the past three years
  4. Question whether each and every input or cultivation is necessary
  5. Investigate products and services you can sell direct to the public
  6. Collaborate with farming neighbours
  7. Maintain field drains and ditches
  8. Before you take something apart, take a picture
  9. Make 10% more silage than you think you’ll need
  10. Never believe next week’s weather forecast; it’ll be wet
  11. Check your wheel nuts.

Thanks for reading and Happy Christmas.

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