Farmer Focus: Neil Thomson shows Sunday newspaper hack around his farm

We are gearing up for opening our farm as part of LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on 13 June. So, to generate a bit of publicity, I was persuaded to allow a reporter for a Sunday newspaper to follow me about for a day to give him an idea of what we do.

I am now nervously waiting to see the result, but I hope that he enjoyed his experience. I showed him all around the farm and answered dozens of questions. He drove a tractor spreading fertiliser, fed the cattle, and then helped select the beast our visitors will enjoy as steak and burgers.

I am constantly amazed at how little people from towns and cities know about farming. I hope people come, but whatever happens I am indebted to all those in the monitor farm group who have helped organise the event here. Thank you, all.

One thing that seemed to surprise our reporter was how concerned I get about the appearance of our crops from the roadside. I hate other farmers (especially neighbours) looking over the fence, seeing thin patches, but I have many this year.

The continued arctic northwesterly breezes not only suspended activity in the air, but also in the soil, with plants struggling, highlighting the thinner areas. Spring barley especially looks glum.

Adam, our agronomist, is less pessimistic saying that he thought our wheat still has potential. He postulates that the lack of significant rain recently has been less harmful because it was cold.

Well, it turns out that my vote did not make that much difference after all in the General Election. Nothing changed here. Michael Moore (Liberal Democrat) swept back in. He is a respected man locally, but, surprisingly, a strong Conservative challenger did not dent his majority.

Let’s hope that the new broom at the top heralds a positive new start for agriculture and we can tap into Michael’s influence on the powerhouse.