Stewart Hayllor

2 November 2001

Stewart Hayllor

Stewart Hayllor farms 343ha

(850 acres) of owned and

rented land from Blackler

Barton, Landscove, Devon,

growing cereals and

combinable breaks. Organic

vegetables occupy 24ha

(60 acres) and a further

160ha (400 acres) is farmed

on contract

SOME of the things that come out of Europe are so mind numbingly stupid that I just let them drift over my head, preferring not to take our Euro MPs time wasting seriously.

That was my initial reaction to their announcement that tractor driving hours would be limited by law. But as I write this, I realise this is indeed their intention with recently passed legislation. A five-year stay of execution for farming and forestry is little comfort if they are allowed to get their way in the end. This law must be binned altogether.

Back to reality and work continues with seed-bed preparation and harvesting vegetables and maize not surprisingly meaning more than two hours/day in the tractor. Bumper maize crops and a good grass silage season mean our cows have plenty of forage for the next year.

One field of organic calabrese has been cleared, as yet no sales returns available, but I am fairly happy with output. Maincrop organic Cara potatoes are not yet lifted, waiting for the contractor and some good weather. Second early Cosmos have all been sold. They should achieve £2500/ha (£1000/acre) profit but as the variety suffered from too many greens and mis-shapes it will not be grown again next year. Savoy and January king cabbage are coming to harvest now. The mild weather has helped produce a very even crop.

For the wheat – Claire and Deben – and oats – Millennium – drilled so far seed-beds have been near perfect and emergence rapid and even, a far cry from most of last years crops. Rain has stopped progress for now and will probably mean missing my target of finishing by the end of October.

Where a pre-emergence spray has been used it has been trifluralin at 2 litres/ha. The rest will receive a grass and broad-leaved weed spray together with aphicide when weather permits.

Returning to the Euro MP theme: what do you call a Euro MP with half a brain? Talented. &#42

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