Farmer Focus: Tractor shed gets the green light

This has to be the first time since I was five years old that Santa listened and the majority of my Christmas list arrived.

The new truck was hand delivered by a delightful Czech called Michael, who, when explaining the gadgetry that works most things, exclaimed: “This truck is built for dumb Americans. They voted for Trump, you will understand very quick.”

Perhaps Brexit has not caused the resentment in Europe that the BBC will have you believe?

See also: Read more from our Arable Farmer Focus writers

Unfortunately, my first planning application for the new machinery shed could not be validated because I had failed to include floorplans.

I immediately phoned the planning office, where a very helpful lady said: “We do need the floor plan sir, as it is a national planning requirement.”

“OK”, I replied, “but all I can give you is a box drawn to scale, because it is a tractor shed.”

“A box will be perfect sir”, I was told, so a box is what they got.

Fortunately the Hirst-esque floorplan seems to have done the trick and full planning was granted.

Second-hand shed

In this age of austerity, I thought I ought to investigate the viability of a second-hand building.

However, a second-hand shed costs 25% more than a brand-new one by my calculations. So it’s back to the drawing board on that.

The replacement combine saga will be revisited in a couple of years. It is only the spring barley that is putting pressure on output and I hope to be growing far less of the cursed crop in a couple of years’ time.

The only item missing from the list – again – is always the first to be written at the top of the paper in large, capital letters.

Why it seems so hard to organise I am unsure, but one day I am convinced Keira Knightly is going to come round the corner of the yard sporting a cheeky grin. Maybe next year!


Will Howe farms 384ha of medium to heavy land at Ewerby Thorpe Farm, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire. He mainly grows spring crops and also manages a further 200ha on contract.

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