Farmer Focus: Wet weather hinders vegetable planting

Well, as Oliver Hardy used to say to his old sidekick Stan Laurel: “That’s another fine mess you got me in to.”

I know a lot of us farmers voted out and think that Brexit is going to be wonderful.

In the short term, yes, we will benefit from the weaker pound, lamb prices and wheat prices are already a bit better. But are we really saying that we want to turn our back on 40 years of political stability and integration for this chaos?

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I hope I will be proved to be wrong and we end up with the best of both worlds, but in my opinion, this time, and it often happens in modern democracies, the majority are wrong.

The US has a motto – e pluribus unum – or to put it another way – out of many, one. Despite their problems, they ain’t done it bad.

Back to more mundane matters, the diamondback moth is running amok among my broccoli, but thankfully, contrary to the popular press, we do have something we can do about it.

But it is yet another headache at this time of year when we still have, as I write, a sizeable chunk of land to be planted.

Francas and his band of merry Europeans (please note) are doing their utmost to keep up with the planting programme, but the weather has made their lives more arduous and I worry that 2016 will turn into the fiasco that was 2012.

Cool dull damp days are not conducive to growing many crops particularly in July and it’s not long before the combines start rolling.

As I review this article before I hit the send button, I realise it appears that my glass seems half empty, and I am gloomy and despondent, but Mrs T and I have just celebrated our 25th year of marital bliss.

She has tolerated this grumpy git for that time and for that I am eternally grateful. She, our family, and the great Scot Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, makes me very happy.

Neil Thomson farms 607ha in partnership with his father and brother from Caverton Mill, Kelso, on the Scottish Borders, growing combinable crops and brassicas. Some of the mainly medium loam is let for potatoes, and the farm also has cattle and sheep.


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