Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
By the time this issue lands on doormats the bulk of the autumn workload will, hopefully, be complete. Crop establish-ment reports appear on the whole to be good, although slugs and cabbage stem flea beetle have been challenging for some.
The focus now is on nurturing and protecting what is in the ground, but already the yield-rob-bers are queuing up. Early phoma pressure in oilseed rape has required action, while black-grass has taken advantage of favourable weather. Sadly some growers are once again faced with the prospect of spraying-off an established winter wheat crop before further costs are incurred.
As ever we will need to be well-informed, well-advised and thinking ahead as the new season’s challenges emerge, but I’m pleased to say there will be help, advice and, I am sure, inspiration at this year’s CropTec, which takes place later this month. Don’t miss our event preview on p30-43.
It has been a busy time too this autumn in the world of farming politics. Concerns expressed over England’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme, the successor to Entry Level Steward-ship, appear to have materialised into poor up-take. With the new scheme being described variously as being ‘poorly designed’, ‘not fit for purpose’ and ‘burdensome’ and thousands of farms set to exit ELS in 2016, it would seem an early overhaul is needed for the sake of farm businesses and the environment.
The volume of noise around ‘Brexit’ and the UK’s in-out EU membership referendum is increasing. Lots of questions, very few answers, but as yet no detail from David Cameron on the criteria upon which he wants to negotiate. What is clear, however, is there will be implications for agriculture, whatever the outcome, and voters in farming must work to ensure their voices are heard.
There have been a few news stories of late which have led me to muse on the complex interactions between politics, technology, and legislation. With increasing use of technology comes ever more legislation it seems. Is this inevitable?
Will this always be the case and so an increasing burden of rules ands regulations be something we and following generations will have to live with? Or will the way we manage and control our use of technology adapt as technological innovation moves ahead? I don’t have the answers but as I contemplate headlines on GM, privacy and use of drones, genome editng and ‘big data’, to name but a few, it does make you think.
Hope to see you at CropTec.
Teresa Rush, Arable Farming editor.