Local show praised by Richard Cobbald

Richard Cobbald is farm manager for Wrest Wratting Park Estate near Cambridge. The 1300ha (3200 acres) of heavy clay to light sandy soils grow wheat, oilseed rape, sugar beet and spring barley.

My first year as farm manager at West Wratting has proved successful on the growing front despite a sudden deluge of rain and orange blossom midge piling on the pressure.

Hereward milling wheat was our main concern, but we managed to get the Dursban (chlorpyrifos) and fungicide on to that and Gladiator second wheats between the showers.

Fortunately, the local myth that most of the rain goes around us seems to have been accurate. Many areas not too far away had as much as 2in more.

Having said that, we are not exactly wearing out our sunglasses, which is understandably a little more irritating for the southern hemisphere guys on the farm than the cold-loving English.

The past month has been the annual show season. I attended the Suffolk one which was a great day out and rekindled some of the rural and agricultural feel that many such events recently seem to have dropped to try to get more people through the gates – for that I congratulate them.

A relative newcomer on the calendar is the LEAF-driven Farm Sunday, which I attended at Russell Smith Farms in Duxford, my previous employer.

I was part of the team last year in their first attempt, which proved a triumph.

But this year eclipsed those efforts with a great choice of displays, walks and trailer rides on offer.

Everyone involved in preparing for this event should be proud of all the hard work they put in to publicise our industry, even though most of them did give me stick.

When I see farming displayed and advertised in such a splendid manner, it mystifies me to hear comments from politicians, especially our Chancellor, which suggest stopping support for this industry in exchange for importing cheap food.

Talk about clueless and out of touch.

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