It has been stop start continuously since we got going last week. However, by taking advantage of every dry moment including at night when the crop was fit, we had by Monday afternoon got the job done.
Considering what a dreadful winter we went through, the crop is yielding surprisingly well. Mind you with the price at £94 per ton if you could get it moved off the farm, we all need the extra yields to help with gross margins.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing and looking back to the winter months when grain buyers were offering rather more it would have been wise to have sold some. But, quite frankly as the rain fell onto sodden fields, much of which were under water, the chances of having any barley to sell was uncertain.
Anyway, there is no point looking back, we must be positive and hope the added £10 per ton promised later this autumn will be improved upon. In the mean time we will store grain in every nook and cranny we can find. I may even commandeer my neighbour’s garages and sitting room floors. Keeping it anywhere is better than having to sell now.
The forecast for the rest of the week looks less than encouraging. We have moved the combine to Randolphs Farm where the wheat is ready and in perfect condition. What we don’t need is weeks of rain and frustration, and soggy grain in the barn which needs drying.
The news that Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has given the go-ahead to build ‘Rampion’, the largest offshore wind farm in the world, off the Sussex coast near Brighton, has been met with dismay. The German energy company E.on will spend £2 billion building 100 turbines which will be 700 ft tall.
The sales pitch for this site stated that it would supply the National Grid with 700 megawatts of power, enough to heat and light 450,000 homes. The true output of this monstrous waste of money will apparently be a mere 240 megawatts.
What the sales team did not say was that this wind farm will require, due to its unreliability, the backup of a fulltime fully powered conventional power station to ensure the lights don’t go out when the wind drops.
Interestingly, the cost of building a conventional and reliable gas-fired power station is £1 billion, half the cost of the wind farm and far more reliable. And even taking into account the price of the gas, the cost is £50 per megawatt hour, compared to £150 per megawatt hour from the wind farm.
Looking back to 2007 when Tony Blair agreed that Great Britain would by 2020 be producing 15 per cent of our energy from ‘renewables’, such as wind power, one has to question his judgement. This was far more than other EU members, many of which already produce electricity from low cost, reliable hydro-electric schemes.
Mr Davey’s predecessor Chris Huhne had plans to build 30,000 useless turbines which was a crazy idea. Unfortunately Ed Davey has taken up the baton and is now bribing foreign-owned firms with subsidies that are higher than anywhere else in the world.
As Christopher Booker questioned in his Daily Mail column, ‘is it any wonder that firms from Germany, France, Sweden and other countries are all rushing to cash in on Britain’s unique subsidy bonanza’?
These wind farms will not only guarantee that our electricity bills will increase dramatically, but as Mr Davey closes down our efficient coal fired power stations, we can also look forward to major power cuts and blackouts. As Mr Booker said, ‘it’s about time we woke up to the reality of where this crazed obsession with wind turbines is leading us’.
Perhaps someone could have a quiet word in Mr Cameron’s ear and tell him he should question his Energy and Climate Change Secretary’s decidedly dodgy decision, and perhaps shuffle him off to retirement and cancel this hair brained useless monstrosity off the Sussex coast.
On the subject of ‘eye sores’, it is disappointing that the developers of the proposed 45 acre solar farm at Patridge Green, which was refused permission by Horsham District council, is appealing against that decision.
Part of the reason for the council rejecting the proposal was its ‘adverse impaction on the character and fabric of the landscape’. The architects and designers try to convince the inspector that this huge site will remain discrete, despite it being in the midst of our green and pleasant countryside. The facts are starkly obvious that such a huge area of solar panels will without doubt blight the landscape.
Solar panels do have an important part to play for renewable energy, but their place is not on green field sites. They should be located on brown field sites, industrial and commercial buildings, schools and hospitals and private homes where appropriate. And if they are so cost effective and efficient surely there should be no need for any form of subsidies.
Carola Godman Irvine