My wife Lynda and I leave for England this week. As well as writing this month’s article I seem to have a mountain of other jobs to attend to before we depart.
Asked by many “are you looking forward to your trip?”, my answer has been “no, not really”. I know once I board the aircraft I will feel very differently but, until then, I am reluctant to leave my son Nick and stock manager Andrew with so much responsibility. With close to 10,000 store lambs and 500 dairy cows on farm as well as the day-to-day running of the business, I think my feelings are only natural. On the other hand, I leave knowing that we have ample feed stocks should the winter turn ugly.
By the time you read this article, Cereals will have been and gone, an event which I am looking forward to attending. We will be wading our way through an itinerary that Lynda has compiled for us while we are in the UK. Given its content I think we’re going to need a holiday to recover once we arrive home.
One thing I am going to miss while away is the long-awaited hearing over the outcome of our application to take and use groundwater for irrigation from our fourth deep aquifer well. We submitted an application back in March 2005, so it’s not before time.
The zone we are in is deemed to be a red zone – fully allocated – but our chances of a consent being granted had seemed unlikely. However, hydrologists have now come up with sufficient evidence to suggest that there is more water reaching these aquifers than first thought. If they can convince the commissioners at next week’s hearing then, hopefully, our consent will be granted.
Farmer Focus Arable: Bill Davey