Insight Focus

  • After mild conditions in November, snow is forecast for the north and east of the UK.
  • The sugar beet harvest continues at a steady pace.
  • All winter crops are planted and look fine so far.
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What’s happening on farm

The god of English farmers is now happily back at work, having had 120% of normal rainfall in November whilst temperatures have remained above normal. This week it is supposed to snow, please remember in England the whole country grinds to a halt if we get so much as 2 ½ centimetres of the stuff. It can only get worse if England lose to France this coming weekend at the World Cup.

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The rams have been sent to see the ewes, just as well it’s been foggy.

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And many hours have been wasted filling in much paperwork, as we have had our annual farm inspection to see that we comply with the laws of the land and many new laws, with regards farming, that have been invented to keep many pen-pushers employed since the last inspection. Separately, the bank that we use has sent a lovely man to do a carbon audit on the farm – I remember when banks would lend money and interest was calculated on the likelihood of the bank getting its money back.

On a more positive note, spring barley seed has been processed and is now on farm, ready for spring

With little else to do, we have started trimming hedges. I discovered, during the inspections, that the State knows how many we have, in metres and to 2 decimal places. Incredible.

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Crop Stage

Sugar beet harvest continues at a steady pace with sugar levels not varying as much as expected. All winter crops are now planted and, in the main, look well for the time of year. In 6 weeks’ time we will be legally able to spread nitrogen.

Big Concerns

To my delight, the UK Secret Service announced that we should worry more about food than we currently do. It can now only be our politicians who fail to notice that eggs are currently being rationed in the supermarkets

A mildly strengthening GBP is undermining prices I receive and it is unlikely that input prices will be adjusted on the other side of the farmer’s balance sheet.

Ambitions for the Year

As we go quietly towards the Christmas period I’m inclined not to have many ambitions at the moment, although I notice that, for some strange reason, a snowman has been put in the fish tank. In January all of this will change and I will go back to trying to see that we are still in business.

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For those that enjoy Christmas, “Happy Christmas” and for those that don’t celebrate it please have a happy and peaceful day.

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