Recently I was lucky enough to go to Germany with Bayer CropScience to look around their site in Leverkusen. What a remarkable place. I don’t think as hands-on farmers we realise the time, pressure and amount of hoops they have to jump through to create new active ingredients.
We visited the research labs, production site, recycling site and museum, and I have to admit that at times some of the information we were being given was way over my head.
Alas, still no replacement for Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron).
The German efficiency is quite extraordinary and it is easy to see where the UK has gone so badly wrong. They have a backbone of manufacturing industry that is some of the best on the planet, and it is easy to see from our short visit why they are the top in Europe and we most certainly are not.
The last of the sugar beet has been delivered and yields have been very good again this year. Also, the good news on the pricing of over quota beet for next year is good for all of us growers. Who knows, perhaps we may be getting to a point where British Sugar is not always the horrible monopoly that some growers think, we’ll see.
Finally the Six Nations is nearly upon us and I really hope this young England side do well – now the old carthorses have been kicked out, there seems to be a new air of excitement towards the national side.
Let’s hope it is not another false dawn for an English sporting team.