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The dry weather is starting to raise a few eyebrows of concern with very little rain falling in March and just 6mm in April, with crops on lighter land visibly suffering. Currently the heavy clays at Toddington are coming to no harm, but it won’t be long before the crops start to suffer, with the last reasonable rainfall being 7mm on the March 22.

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Most crops are showing a lot of potential, and our decisions and actions over the next couple of months are going to be crucial in ensuring we maximise that potential. The relatively mild winter and early spring, combined with ample rainfall events, has led to all but the very late sown crops appearing to be very forward.

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Marie Prebble runs a 93ha (230-acre) Ministry of Defence-tenanted farm with her parents, David and Diane, near Dover. Largely permanent pasture in Higher Level Stewardship, the farm is home to 400 breeding Romneys which Marie puts to high index Lleyn rams.

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Farming and food production in Scotland boasts a rich provenance few countries can match. But the sector is also unique when it comes to the challenges of Brexit.

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Will Case farms 300ha (750 acres) in partnership with brother Simon and parents William and Margaret at Ulverston, Cumbria. Land is divided between Plumpton Cottage Farm and Robbs Water Farm, Barrow-in- Furness. They farm 1,000 lowland ewes, 90 pedigree Texel ewes, 65 Salers suckler cows, fatten 150 store cattle, 12,000 freerange laying hens and 100 dairy cows milked by robots.

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Laura McCulloch, 19, is studying journalism at Edinburgh Napier University alongside helping her parents run a 109-hectare (270-acre) beef and arable coastal farm at the Mull of Galloway. She is also a keen member of Stranraer and Rhins YFC.

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After winning the Yorkshire Open trial on Saturday (May 13), Ross Watson and Ricky went on to take the championship title.

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By Olivia Midgley

 

Computers may be brilliant when they work, but they can also be the cause of hair-pulling frustration when they do not.

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This year’s spring drilling was a season of two halves, writes Steve Melbourne of Louth Tractors.

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James farms 180ha (450 acres) of uplands in Llanbadarn Fynydd, Powys. Married to Rachel with three sons, James runs 1,000 ewes, mostly Aberfield crosses, plus a 50-head suckler herd. An HCC scholar in 2014, he is involved with NFU Cymru’s Next Generation initiative and passionate about rural affairs.

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