Farmer Focus: Some interesting yet scary comments from Eustice

It was great to be back at the NFU Conference in person this year. It is always a fantastic and insightful couple of days, and this year was no exception.

There were some interesting – and scary – comments made by George Eustice about fertilisers, where he told farmers to use more organic fertiliser.

At a time when the Farming Rules for Water are creating so many headaches, this wasn’t the positive message anyone was hoping for – nor was being told to plant phacelia to deal with the high prices.

About the author

Matt Redman
Farmer Focus writer
Matt Redman farms 370ha just north of Cambridge and operates a contracting business specialising in spraying and direct-drilling. He also grows cereals on a small area of tenancy land and was Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year in 2014.
Read more articles by Matt Redman

See also: Regen ag: Why farmers need to give the system time to deliver

My two-year term as chairman of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors is almost up.

It has been a strange two years and very different to what I had originally planned but, like everyone else, we have adapted and embraced the changes needed, and I believe this has made the organisation stronger for the future as a result.

On the farm, I am pleased with how crops look and am getting impatient to make a start on the spring workload.

It will be a nice change to not have most of the farm to drill in the spring and will be a great mental boost to be getting on with spraying and applying liquid fertiliser to winter crops that currently look full of potential.

I am also looking forward to getting to grips with my new drill. After six years of excellent service and a lot of hectares, wearing metal and seed through it, I am upgrading my JD 750a to a Horsch Avatar.

It was a difficult and almost reluctant decision after such good performance and results from the 750a, but I feel the Avatar now has the edge and offers more with its seed and fertiliser ability.

The new 750a is relatively unchanged and would still have the same limitations as my current one.

The situation in Ukraine has escalated exponentially in the past few days, and while it has raised grain prices at a time when we really needed it, it is a bittersweet result when you see the pain and destruction it is causing to others.

It is a sorry state of affairs when we need other countries to have poorer growing conditions than ourselves to boost profitability, but that usually means too much or too little rainfall, not bombs and rockets. These shouldn’t be an issue in 2022.

Need a contractor?

Find one now