Join Farmers Guardian Editor Ben Briggs, and Head of News and Business Olivia Midgley, for weekly thought-provoking and lighthearted debate around the key issues affecting farming, food and the countryside right now.
On the contrast to last year when I was writing about the hot and dry weather being a curse on the lighter soil types, the deluge of rain we have had since the middle of June has led to utterings of ‘another 2012’.
At the time of writing (early July) we have been totting up our June rainfall figures and locally we had more than 220mm in June this year, compared to 40mm in June last year, but in 2015 we had temperatures of 30degC. Not so this year.
Well – it has happened. The blight epidemic for 2016 is well under way, with plenty of red spots on the Fight Against Blight maps. There are infections reported from East and West, North and South and everywhere in between.
I recently visited the AHDB SPot Farm, at Elveden Estate. It is a really great initiative and of special interest to me to see targeted R&D happening on a sandy soil – types of soil very similar to those where I work.
This month, Ian Potter has some slightly better news of the prospect of declining production, takes a look at AHDB’s plans, scrutinises First Milk’s financial reversal and finally wonders just whether the Tesco liquid model is sustainable.
This month Roger Evans tell us how the on-going pressure will cause more to decide to quit the industry, turns his attention to the fascinating merits of the shape of bulk milk tanks, and finally reveals his deep and somewhat personal conversation with one of the mothers in the village.