Farmer Focus: Sugar beet finally progresses in warm weather

What excellent conditions for planting – indeed, you could say the soil is still a little too warm for autumn cereals.

Both wheat and barley have burst out of the ground and within five days of being sown, crops were clearly visible in the row.

The crop that has really benefited from the Indian summer is the sugar beet. It has just about passed the stage of having to be harvested with the carrot harvester, so things are really looking up.

See also: How key pesticide changes affect beet and barley growers

We can only hope it keeps on growing for a good while longer.

It would certainly have been embarrassing to have a group of farmers here on the Farmers Weekly Soils in Practice day on 8 November and be lifting beet that look more like parsnips.

Make sure you book your ticket to witness for yourself how well they have grown. There are of course many other things planned to make it an enjoyable and educational day as well.

Political conferences

Taking about planning, what about our futures? I do hope you have now all had the opportunity to digest “Govey’s Greening”, so ably outlined in the Agriculture Bill.

The end of direct support, our opportunity to make our own way in the world, with a generous get-out clause built in – what could be better?

Well, might I suggest that if we were positive that politicians really wanted us to be productive farmers, actually producing food, then we might feel as though the future is worth fighting for.

The bill certainly seems to miss that as its focus. That, combined with unknown factors with regards to future trade, obviously fuels uncertainty.

What are we to do about it? Well, I suggest we must continue to influence, fight for our fair share of our home market and ensure we are ready to optimise export opportunities and able to innovate and continue to produce first-rate, affordable food.

These are all issues I mentioned when attending the political party conferences over the past couple of weeks.


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