Farmer Focus: Taking longer to get machinery parts

The amazingly dry and warm weather has continued in Ryedale. Although we had a very welcome 20mm of rainfall at the start of May, we’ve had nothing meaningful since.

Now that the forage maize has been drilled into near perfect conditions, all the crops would welcome a nice drink. 

Barley awns are fully out and wheat is racing towards T2, when chlorothalonil will be used – sadly, for the last time.

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It remains to be seen how we will replace this relatively cheap, multisite fungicide. Overall, crops have made a remarkable recovery from where they were two months ago.

World markets are very volatile, but harvest prices are holding up, so maybe we can be quite positive. I wonder if anyone else has noticed the slow supply chain for some machine parts.

Often they’re made in the Far East these days, but maybe it’s time for European companies to rethink their outsourcing strategies? With so much of the UK population not at work, there are lots of people using rural footpaths.

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I think this could be a really good opportunity to connect directly with our ultimate customer base. The people I have spoken to really appreciate the work we’re doing producing food, and have seen the value in our home-produced food chain.

Such positive feedback makes me think that, for the many who are cooped up in their own four walls without large outdoor areas to wander in, farmers can provide a little bit of mental release by making footpaths more accessible while the lockdown continues.

The alternative, of calling for closing up the countryside, might be counterproductive when the pandemic passes.

The lockdown has brought some interesting changes that the general population are starting to notice. Low pollution levels, clear seawater and wildlife moving into the now quieter urban areas have all been commented on.

What catches my eye is the fact that farming hasn’t really changed or stopped – so the pollution caused by carbon dioxide-producing animals perhaps wasn’t as bad as we used to think.

And perhaps the biggest polluters are really planes and cars. Now there’s a shock!