We get quite excited when we see our agronomist emerge from his winter hibernation and start wandering across our arable fields checking for disease, weeds or bugs. Without doubt very soon a recommendation will ping into my In Box, including a cocktail of sprays, which will be diluted a thousand fold in water when applied to the crops.
Robert Plumb our soil analysist has already sent through our unique Ote Hall Farms soil fertility programme for spring 2019. The crops will be treated at various growth stages with Urea, Bio N, straight nitrogen, MOP and foliar feeds including Mega-Fos and Vitaplex.
With that little lot the crops surely cannot fail to flourish and we should with any luck get a good yield. Let us hope the prolonged heat wave of last summer, which did little to enhance the crops, is not repeated.
The grass fields are starting to dry, and unless the much needed rain needed to refill reservoirs and top up the water table descends, we could soon start harrowing and rolling.
The cattle have wintered well and are heading off to the butchers and farm shops we supply with Ote Hall Farm Sussex beef.
It is disturbing that vegan activists are stopping farmers and trying intimidate us as we arrive at abattoirs. They unsettle and scare our stock, while saying ‘goodbye’ to cattle, sheep or pigs.
We do our level best to ensure our cattle are loaded and travel from farm to abattoir stress free. I go out of my way to ensure I take an uninterrupted route, avoiding stopping at junctions and traffic lights. What does stress them is being stationary in the trailer, and strangers invading their space.
These over grown kids, many with beards and balaclavas, leap in front of the truck waving banners and demanding I stop, as they shout obscenities, while theoretically ‘peacefully’ saying ‘goodbye’ to my cattle. With whom I am certain they have never previously been introduced.
These idiots are in danger of being flattened, as I will not stop or allow them to stress my cattle. Before long one of these clearly ignorant and very annoying banner wavering vegans will end up under the wheels of my truck.
The NFU annual conference takes place this week. It is interesting to learn from reading the Farmers Weekly that the current President, Minette Batters’, is acknowledged by some in the industry, as having the ability to connect with the non-farming public. This, due to the fact that she does not just talk about farming, but about agriculture in terms of food.
This is puzzling as farmers do little else but talk about food production and the importance of its sustainability. We have consistently reminded the public of the importance of buying British, and local when possible. We have even marched with banners, and indeed the public have marched with us.
Nothing about the NFU surprises me but I find it puzzling that we need to remind the industry that Mrs Batters is a woman, the first to be NFU President, and is doing a reasonable job because she talks about food!
I sincerely hope that during her conference speech she will send out a positive message to British farmers, and abandon her usual doom and gloom rhetoric. Brexit offers us the opportunity to regain control of our destiny, expand our markets, and escape the EU controlled stultifying Common Agricultural Policy.
Through protectionism, tariffs, red tape and bureaucracy, and funding which has created unnecessary waste and discourages food production, British agriculture has been damaged.
The only person Mrs Batters need remind of the important role British farmers play in maintaining the natural environment, while feeding the nation is the Minister, Michael Gove.