Our land’s ‘normal’ is either too wet or too dry. Perfect conditions for drilling are as rare as hen’s teeth. However, we are keeping optimistic - well John is - as we hope to get the final 140acres planted.
The cattle are happy as the grass is still growing in abundance. So too are the field mushrooms which are once again plentiful. No doubt they are growing again because of the full moon with its gravitational pull which apparently brings more moisture to the surface of the soil and creates perfect conditions for plump porcini, in much the same way as the moon affects the tides.
I fail to understand why the public are being so misled by fake facts regarding the Agriculture Bill, the amendment in particular introduced by Lord Granchester. (His father will be turning in his grave) The Clause, supported by NFU President Minnette Batters, Jamie Oliver, Joe Wicks (what does he know about farming?) the BBC, members of the House of Lords, and of course the anti-Brexiteers on the benches in the House of Commons, will not help farmers.
It is not about animal welfare, chlorinated chicken, hormone implanted beef or food products but about food production. If passed it would impose British production standards, amongst the highest in the world, not only on US Agriculture Corporations, but on every other country in the world we wish to trade with.
The scare tactics are misleading the public and some farmers, into thinking future trade deals will lower food standards and allow cheap dodgy food imports, including chlorinated chicken and hormone treated beef, into the country.
This cannot and will not happen. When we left the EU, all food and animal welfare standards were put straight into UK law, in January. You cannot legislate for the same thing twice.
In addition the amendment is invalid as it calls on standards of food production to be protected and not the food product itself.
It is not possible for another country to legislate for food production standards of another country. This would be against EU and WTO rules, and would mean all our exports to other countries would cease overnight. That will certainly not help enterprising farmers, tax payers or consumers.
The ‘independent’ Food Standards Agency was created to actively prevent retailers and food outlets from selling unlawful products. Cases have included incidents of undeclared horse meat found in frozen beef burgers in Irish and English supermarkets in 2013. Also pork DNA found in beef burgers being supplied to the Muslim community.
It is hard to understand why the NFU is doing its best to prevent the government from doing trade deals. Their arguments appear to be a smoke screen for what is actually protectionism for big British producers, who are, it is said, over represented in the upper ranks of the NFU.
Unfortunately the NFU never has been very supportive of small enterprising family farms, despite recent Daily Mail headlines trumpeting Mrs Batter’s support for, ‘the British family farm’.
As Daniel Hannan makes very clear in his column in the Sunday Telegraph, this amendment would criminalise much of what we already sell. It would also make it impossible to trade not just with the US but also Brussels, whose animal welfare rules we exceed. As Daniel said, “It would give Britain the most restrictive food policy on the planet”.
On Tuesday the fishing bill will set out how we will reclaim UK fishing waters, and prevent Super trawlers fishing just off our coast. I hope MPs will support it, I know ours will.