Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
Such are the idiosyncrasies of magazine publishing that the January issue of Arable Farming comes out in December and with the Christmas festivities not quite upon us I find myself wondering whether to look back at the year currently drawing to a close or forward to the new one.
Suffice to suggest perhaps, that 2014 has been a year of highs and lows, with high yields and low grain prices being stand-out features. And there are certainly challenges ahead, agronomically in terms of disease control, with declining triazole efficacy and black-grass control; economically, with volatile prices and reportedly increased borrowings and politically, with the implementation of the new Basic Payment Scheme.
Storms are gathering you might say and as I write the South and East await the arrival of the ‘weather bomb’ which has been battering the north and west of Scotland in particular. Hopefully it will have defused somewhat before its predicted arrival over the next few hours.
The patch of Suffolk outside my window, along with almost everywhere else, has certainly had enough rain; the fields are sodden, the crops are lush and the spraying carryover is unwelcome. On a more cheery note, we have had a great time putting together this issue. With Lamma 2015 looming, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to put together a special machinery issue.
In addition to a heads up on what’s in store at the show, we’ve been out on-farm bagging the best machinery stories to whet your appetite. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading them as they have gone on the page; I hope you do too. And if you are contemplating a big purchase, our feature on capital investment is essential reading.
As the old year draws to a close, pesticide regulations are in the headlines yet again, with decisions on candidates for substitution awaited from Europe and a consultation underway on how we define endocrine disruptor chemicals, both of which are set to have a significant impact on the arable and horticultural sectors.
It is an opportune time then to welcome to our pages Cornish farmer and current NFU combinable crops chairman Mike Hambly, who will be sharing his thoughts on agricultural policy issues, as well as arable farming in the South West. Don’t miss his first Talking Policy column in this issue. Which leaves me finally to wish you all the best for 2015.
See you at Lamma.
Teresa Rush, Arable Farming editor.