Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
I am writing this month’s leader on day one of the Lamma show. The eastern counties have been in the grip of a cold snap in the week running up to the event, but the crowds are undeterred and as ever there is plenty to see. If you weren’t able to make it to Peterborough don’t miss our report in this issue or online at www.arablefarming.com.
When I asked Arable Farmingmachinery editor James Rickard for a quick, early summary of what was on show, his response was ‘plenty of tractor developments, signs of a trend towards greater versatility in cultivators and drills and lots of high-end trailer developments’. Quite a bit to catch up with then. All remains quiet on the fieldwork front.
Talking with agronomists after the Christmas break, the feedback I’ve been getting is spray programmes are now more or less up-to-date and there has even been a little bit of opportunistic drilling done on some of the lightest land. I see too there has also been some ploughing done locally on the frost. Spring drilling is drawing closer, although it will be a while before some of the heavy land will travel. On the spraying job list, light leaf spot control in oilseed rape will be a priority for many as the disease continues to make its presence felt outside its traditional northern stronghold.
This is the time of year for conferences and training and as usual there is plenty of information to be had on the latest developments across the sector. Crop protection and nutrition of course feature strongly, but I have also heard some excellent talks recently on topics as diverse as cover cropping, energy crops, precision farming and the role of resistance elicitors – compounds which boost the crop’s inherent immunity to pests and disease.
If you haven’t yet signed up for a winter workshop, whether it is one run by your agronomist or distributor, or perhaps one of the HGCA or SRUC winter agronomy meetings, I would urge you do so. In Europe the consultation on the definition of endocrine disrupters has closed and we await a decision which potentially could lead to the loss of key triazole fungicides.
Meanwhile, attention has turned to another consultation, this time on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. Before you all roll your eyes in despair and run for the fields bear in mind this legislation could significantly affect UK farmers’ ability to trade grain forward.
As ever we will be keeping a close eye on developments.
Teresa Rush, Arable Farming editor.