Low bushel weights cause concern

Now, I am most certainly not a livestock farmer and have never professed to have a great deal of knowledge about the subject, but I have been reading and following various articles about the badger cull and cattle TB problems.

This is a very serious subject, but I have to say the interview with Brian May in Farmers Weekly (21 September) made me laugh out loud as he gave his typical one-eyed response to some very good questioning. Perhaps he supports the badger so avidly because he looks a bit like one.

He is an animal lover who is happy to see cattle slaughtered. He is also quite clearly a full-on veggie, so of course the poor cow must suffer as we heathens eat its flesh. So let’s solve the problem and start eating badgers.

Give the cull a chance to prove itself or fail, then we will know for sure. Someone said to me, “I bet you’re glad to get this harvest out of the way.” To which I replied, “Too right, it’s been a tough one.”

Unfortunately, this harvest is going to hang around all year as a constant source of irritation and annoyance. We have stores full of wheat with huge variations in bushel weight.

In one day we loaded out 14 lorries, some of which came back with small claims for 69kg/hl and two were as low as 63kg/hl. I wonder if the end users will react to the fact that a lot of the UK wheat is very poor quality. Probably not.

Finally, I promised to mention that Mark Hale listens to organ recitals while busy on his tractor. Enough said.

Richard Cobbald is farm manager for West Wratting Park Estate near Cambridge. The 1,300ha of heavy soils grow wheat, oilseed rape, sugar beet and spring barley

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