FG BUY&SELL        FARMERS WEATHER       ARABLE FARMING        DAIRY FARMER      FARMERS GUARDIAN        AGRIMONEY        OUR EVENTS        MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS        BLOGS        MORE FROM US
You are here: News > Insights
Search

You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Steve Heard: Harvest frustrations, but we need to be more proactive in fending off unfounded attacks

Waiting and waiting to start our harvest-15 days later than last year

Twitter Facebook
Share This

Impatiently waiting to start my harvest #harvestworries

I know we should expect to farm according to conditions and crops, not the calendar. But I am still waiting impatiently to start our harvest, now probably 15 days later than last year. It is enough to make me consider growing some barley next year, for no good reason other than I would not have to watch my neighbours start so early before me. Desiccation did not start until the middle of the month, and even then it was a very slow affair as we waited for the green oilseed rape crops to finish properly.

 

The combines are polished ready for action and for the first time, both fitted with an additional second sideknife. The drivers perhaps assume it’s a case of me trying to make their life easier, eliminating any potential heaps of straw from blockages and reducing headland wheelings. What they do not realise is I also intend to do some experiments combining crops at an awkward angle to the tramlines. This will then allow shallow cultivations or direct drilling to be done across combine swaths but working square to the field edge.

 

With milling wheat and human consumption spring beans both destined to receive what I consider a vital pre-harvest Roundup spray, I am horrified to read the current scaremongering campaign from the Soil Association across social media. With no evidence against glyphosate beyond a claimed ’probable’ carcinogenic effect, they failed to list it alongside cola drinks, canned tomatoes, sausages or any of a whole huge list of other foods apparently in the same potential category. Perhaps, most importantly, The Federation of Bakers has openly reported: “Where it is found, it is in such small levels it is nearly undetectable,” but none of this is mentioned in such a one sided argument.

 

I do not claim to know the answer, but as an industry we need to become more proactive to defend these unfounded attacks. Any protest against multi-national chemical companies will always be seen as an easy target to bias public opinion, but the conventional farming industry must be careful not to get caught in the crossfire.

 

Steve Heard, Leicestershire

Steve Heard farms at Illston on the hill, Leicestshire. He grows a variety of combinable crops on 1,192ha (2,945 acres) of land, which is rented and contact farmed. He also runs an arable contracting business, and is a keen user of new technology.

Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More Insights

BUY BRITISH, COOK BRITISH: Five delicious lamb dishes - straight from the farm

We all know British produce is fresh and delicious - so why not celebrate it even further with these mouthwatering lamb recipes...

Austrian family run successful dairy business with only 15 cows

There are few UK dairies which would be financially successful with only 15 cows, but for one Austrian family, processing and selling their milk has revolutionised their business. Emma Penny visits the Oberascher family to find out more.

North Country Cheviots flourish in the Peak District

Starting a pedigree flock from scratch brings many challenges. Chloe Palmer hears about the highs and the lows of establishing the Greenhills flock of North Country Cheviots.

User story: Old school power heads up cost conscious farming fleet

With a keen eye on his bottom line, Scottish Borders farmer Richard Reed decided to exchange new machinery for tried and tested work horses.

Profit from Grass: Grazing takes precedence over grass cropping on Cumbrian farm

After a dry spring a flush of early summer grass brings its own challenges for the Stobart’s who farm near Armathwaite in Cumbria.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds