2014 has produced rain on virtually every day, but so far we have been lucky that the actual quantity of water has been far less and far less damaging than in other parts of the country, writes Ian Stancer.
Not only that but on our farm, despite drilling being very delayed by a wet October, the warm weather has allowed even December seed pushed into ugly seedbeds to poke through before New Year and “see two years”; an old fashioned, but still pertinent yard stick. Where last winter everything we did to try and rescue a crop seemed doomed to fail, this season has rewarded bravery across the board, due to dry weather and deep cultivations in the summer putting the land back into a healthier state to cope.
With much sadness I must say a few words about David Piccaver who passed away at the end of the year. I’ve been involved with the NFU for around 25 years and through that time good people have come and gone and made a positive mark. Few people, however, have been as constant and prominent as David. Through the years he has spoken up for farmers big and small with equal vigour and earned the greatest respect both within our organisation and the wider farming and horticultural world. He will be sorely missed, not only for his knowledge and experience but also his warmth and good humour. Next month I’ll be privileged to vote in the NFU presidential elections. I hope we can forge a strong team to fight for farming in a way David would approve.