Livestock farmers are already worrying about a shortage of straw for next winter as fields remain untouched, some under water and the majority undrilled. The glut of straw this summer was a bonus but most cattle were housed early and the relentless rain means extra is needed to keep the yards clean and dry.
No one year can stand alone in the farming calendar, as each has repercussions upon the next. Farming is all about the weather and timing and very little else.
The General Election TV hustings have so far been disappointing and generally a waste of time. ITV clearly attempted to ‘entertain’ rather than allow an intelligent political debate.
The BBC did marginally better but with the audience and questions so heavily leaning towards the left, and sound bites evidently the order of the day, little was accomplished.
On both occasions the female interviewers were noticeably out of their depth. Surely if the broadcasters persist with these presidential style and poorly staged hustings, the very least they should do is employ experienced political inquisitors who can get to the real facts, not the lightweight trivia we have seen so far.
With apologies to my feminist sisters, I believe it is time to call a halt to this politically correct promotion at all cost, of women. So glaringly obvious is it that women with or without talent, are being shoe horned into every available opening on radio, TV and elsewhere.
Whatever happened to the belief that true talent will float to the surface? It is a nonsense to promote mediocracy in pursuit of political correctness with its skewed perception of equality.
For those of us who have historically been glued to Radio 4, our loyalty is being sorely tested. Not only are our ears increasingly assaulted by shrill female voices discussing anything from wind farms to national security, we are now threatened with a series composed exclusively of comediennes, let loose on the unsuspecting public. I defy anyone to find 90% of them remotely funny. Crass yes, funny absolutely not.
I have been reluctant to criticise the SDNPA for erecting the ghastly rusty signs springing up across Sussex. However, since the national press has picked up on the subject costing £500,000, I think it is open season on the National Park Authority once again.
What is the point of these signs which look as if they have escaped from the local scrap merchant’s yard or farm machinery grave yard? As for the spokesman for the SDNPA who said, “They create a positive sense of arrival …..” Really?
What has the SDNPA actually achieved since its ill-conception in 2010 except spend loads of tax payer’s money on self-promotion, including their gold-plated headquarters in Midhurst, and become a thorn in the side of farmers and landowners?
They say the only certainties in life are tax and death, which implies that to be successful one should be either an accountant or an undertaker! While we are all busy paying taxes and planning our eventual departure from this earth, surely the other essential to sustain life is food production.
One would assume that farming was one of life’s certainties and that farmers and fertile land would be recognised, valued and rewarded as such.
Unfortunately it is increasingly clear that farmers and food production are hugely undervalued. We watch as farmland is targeted for development, flooding, tree planting, on-shore windfarms and substations the size of Wembley stadium, cable corridors and for the public’s recreation.
In a year when grain and other food supplies will be in short supply, perhaps farmers and vital and sustainable food production should be taken more seriously.