Soil science objective for Will Howe

I am sure I am not the only person who wishes they listened harder during their education. First, I would have learnt how to run a picket line, but more importantly soil science would not be such a mystery to me.

Our soil science lectures were unfortunately positioned as the two hours the morning after a “£10 all you can drink” offer at a local club the previous night. Unfortunately, we put more emphasis on a stomach-settling full English, rather than soil science.

So I went to Cereals with the intent of looking at ways to make the soil work harder for me, as opposed to vice versa. I went round the pedology stands with great enthusiasm, and I have certainly made headway. But Cereals is getting ever larger, encouraging manufacturers to come up with even bigger machines (with matching price tags) to justify the size of their pitch, and it is a challenge for the smaller companies to compete for attention.

My biggest gripe though is paying twice to gain entry. Not only do I have to “borrow” £20 from Vicky’s housekeeping for the ticket, but the vast majority of exhibitors are using our money to pay for their stands and to give us a “free” lunch. Just think if the grain merchants did no marketing at these shows; the farmer might get an extra £1/t. That doesn’t of course mean I didn’t appreciate everyone’s generous hospitality.

Thoughts are turning to harvest; the new grain-store is currently being concreted, the combine is serviced and its new driver will shortly receive his initiation (a pre-harvest Lexion wash). I think this is the most prepared we have ever been, but harvest time, just like cheap drink offers, does have a habit of finding the chink in your armour.









farmer focus arable: Will Howe