I have just spent a most enjoyable day judging the farmer of the year competition for Dalkeith Agricultural Society.
It was an enormous privilege to be allowed to look around five excellent farms. As is often the case, picking a winner was not an easy task. The attention to detail of each finalist was exemplary, from perfectly straight tramlines, drawn without the aid of a satellite, to meticulous machinery maintenance. However, it is reassuring to know that each farmer did their job differently.
I was extremely impressed with the crop of hybrid winter barley Volume seen and liked the look of Gallant as a possible alternative for Cordiale on our own farm. I am not a great lover of oilseed rape but to see the club root resistant variety Cracker looking like that it could match the yield of any other variety is good news. I saw a lot of nice spring barley and was extremely envious of the lucrative contracts that others have signed. It would be churlish of me to complain about the three-year deal I have, but let’s hope that the loyalty shown will be rewarded in the long term. And I will dig my heels in if I am forced to buy all my inputs from them in future.
My father’s right hip was replaced for the fourth time recently. This with his two metallic knees could make his claim to be the bionic man legitimate. The pain the poor man has suffered in the last few months must have been insufferable, but to give him credit he has rarely complained, and I hope, like the staff of a local supermarket who saw their display of toilet rolls destroyed with his electric buggy, that he can get around comfortably on his legs soon.
farmer focus arable: Neil Thommson