Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
For fans of cycling the words of Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford always merit careful consideration. On more than one occasion his observations, made in the context of cycling, have wider resonance. His ‘you didn’t see that coming’ comment made recently to a journalist after Chris Froome took an unexpected stage win on stage eight of the Tour de France is as pertinent to the EU referendum result as it was to the British cyclist’s spectacular descent of the Col de Peyresourde.
But now the emotions have calmed and the ensuing Westminster maelstrom has (almost) subsided, we are faced with the task of getting on with Brexit. There are without doubt challenging times ahead. In the coming months and probably years we will discover what Brexit really means. But whatever the eventual outcome, it is vital the farming industry has a clear vision of what it wants to be and where it wants to go.
The other big vote of recent weeks, on the future of glyphosate, eventually delivered a sticking plaster result, with the European Commission stepping in at the last minute with an 18-month reapproval, during which time the expectation is the European Agency for Chemical Products will have published its findings on the health impacts of the herbicide active.
Harvest is underway and early results are typically ordinary. Yield expectations appear in the main to be hovering around ‘average’ and sadly the wet weather has taken its toll, with plenty of reports of lodging and concerns over the likely impact of fusarium. Let us hope summer puts in an appearance very soon.
We have devoted a significant amount of space in this issue to black-grass and I make no apologies for that. This most pernicious of weeds has had a ‘good’ year and many of you, I am sure, will be contemplating radical changes to cropping programmes and control approaches for 2017. I hope our reports from three of the long-term black-grass control trial sites will help inform your decision-making.
Last but not least, we’re looking forward to this year’s ‘24 hours in farming’ on August 18-19. It’s a great opportunity to let the world – yes the world – know what great British farming is all about. Why not get involved?