Giving young people a chance to speak out
Only too frequently the voices of young people go unheard. Too often frequently they are seen as too inexperienced, too immature, too insignificant. Too young.
But they are the people that will take farming into the millennium. They will decide whether this industry stands or falls. They are the future.
Good to see, then, that youth was given a voice this week. A conference, organised by RASE and Strutt and Parker, brought together a host of young speakers from across the industry.
In the audience were schoolchildren, students and new graduates. A few older people were even let in. The older delegates were pleased with what they saw: enthusiasm, passion, common-sense, vision. Exactly what this industry needs in these tough times.
Anyone that says farming is dying is wrong.
Beef ban end would give trade a real fillip
The glimmering hope that the beef ban may be lifted soon is welcome news. If ever our beleaguered livestock industry needed encouragement, now is the time.
Further good news came last week in the shape of the MLC livestock awards. In difficult times, its heartening to read of the hard-won achievements of beef, sheep and pig producers .
Admittedly, improving output and margins on livestock farms, particularly in the current bleak climate is difficult.
But it is good to see fighting spirit paying off.
Strob fungicides are surely here to stay
Justifying the extra cost of using new technical developments on the farm is never easy. When profits are under severe pressure it is doubly difficult.
But strobilurin fungicides seem to be one development cereal growers cannot ignore. Provided they are used appropriately they can deliver yield responses which more than cover their cost.
But the trick is how to gain the best response from the most appropriate use. Understanding their interactions with different varieties, sites and seasons will be key to extracting the most from them.
Results are already emerging from commercial and independent research. Applying those to your own farm situation will help unlock the benefits of this exciting new technology next year.
Upgrading the image of humble meat pie
A traditional half-time snack at a football match; an easy cooking option – thats how many people regard meat pies.
Before the BSE crisis, few would have questioned where the meat came from. But now it is a different story.
So, a new group – West Country Beef – is set to capitalise on the demand for frozen, ready-to-bake, pastry-encased products – pies and pasties to you and me – using farm assured, fully traceable beef.
Beef producers buying shares in the venture are promised a premium on forequarter beef, and better returns overall.
It is a far cry from the traditional pie. But its good news that producers are going to get a bigger slice of it.
Giving Royal spuds the gentler touch
All potatoes need gentle handling. Some demand tender loving care. A case in point is Jersey Royals. Keeping this high value crop bruise-free is an exacting task.
And not one which most harvesters are capable of achieving, according to one Jersey grower.
Convinced he could do better, the grower set about designing and building a harvester to lift the delicate Jersey Royals.
The result is improved tuber quality, more satisfied supermarket buyers and higher profits. There is no better demonstration of how being kind to your crop benefits its health and your wealth.
Your chance to be UK spraying supremo…
When it comes to applying agrochemicals, only top class standards will do. To mark the achievement of skilled operators throughout the UK, FW is delighted to join forces with Novartis Crop Protection to launch the 1999 Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year competition.
If you, or your spray operator, accept only the highest standards of efficient, safe and cost-effective agrochemical spraying, why not enter for this prestigious award?
The winners reward, as we explain on page 60, includes a study tour to Sweden. So why not test your skill and knowledge against the best of British?