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In your field: James Lacey - 'My biggest focus is currently on robotics'

If I were to go by this year’s weather, April showers would become a myth and be replaced with wet and windy May, or something slightly more catchy.

Fortunately, we did get our potatoes planted before the rain turned up and also managed to get fertiliser on the land in between showers.

 

Not to be the stereotypical farmer that always talks, and complains, about the weather, but almost all of our crops now look very well for having a much-needed drink.

 

The cold weather has delayed the start of our outdoor flower season, so fingers crossed that Mother Nature gives us some sunshine and dry spells.

 

The last of the stored potatoes have been sent out of the gate after what seems like a long and painful season.

 

However, I do feel grateful that I have managed to sell everything despite the multiple hurdles we have experienced over the past year.

 

Having just spent a weekend away in Whitby and seeing how busy local trade was, I am keen to get harvesting and I am as optimistic as ever about prices in the potato trade and flower sales this year.


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At present, imported flowers are struggling to compete on price with British-grown blooms, which is nothing but positive for both us farmers and British economy as a whole, not to mention less air miles and so on (shout out to those who said Brexit would be all negative).

 

We are on the cusp of starting to use our custom-built Grimme Flower harvester to kick off the flower season with Sweet Williams, so I am expecting to grow a few extra grey hairs over the coming weeks while working to make sure everything goes as planned.

 

My biggest focus in the business at present is robotics and labour-saving techniques. I may even dabble in direct drilling. I best get my sandals out.

 

My sugar beet looks much better this year than last and the rain really did come at the right time for our beet and cereal crops. Potatoes have been emerging for a while now, although the weather has been a nightmare to get the pre ems on but we are just about up to date.

 

Blight spraying is planned to start this week, keeping the sprayer busy.

 

Let’s hope it doesn’t break down.

 

 

Twitter

 

I, like many others in our industry, enjoy using Twitter as a means of communication with people outside the parish but I have noticed on several occasions the very loud, left leaning, anti-farming, pro vegan presence.

 

Generally speaking, it seems to be the younger audience with a tarnished view of agriculture that are most up for a debate online.

 

I personally feel this is fuelled mainly by our biased national media, followed up by an education system that has no backbone and follows media trends.

 

One thing I am sure of is that the so-called pro-farming BBC programme, Countryfile, does nothing to promote British agriculture. In fact, of late it is doing the complete opposite.

 

I will continue to tune in for programmes such as ‘Our Yorkshire Farm’.

 

The Owen family really does promote British farming for what it is: hard but enjoyable work.

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