Whaplode Drove farmer takes time to reflect at year’s end

Ian Stancer.

Ian Stancer.

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It’s that time of year when the weather always dictates the terms of anything you may want to get done outside, writes Ian Stancer.

So far, December has been low in rainfall, but despite that, all but the best land has been a no-go area, except where sugar beet has kept a rising water table at bay to allow lifting or the odd snatched spraying day. It’s rarely any different and farming grinds to a halt apart from flurries of activity on frosty mornings.

Time now to reflect on a long and quite tricky harvest and autumn campaign, largely preoccupied with finding new ways to fight the scourge of blackgrass, with an ever receding armoury of crop protection products. With this in mind I’d like to encourage everybody to engage with a public consultation put forward by the EU. It seeks to gauge the reaction to the proposed ban on agrochemicals which display ‘Endocrine disrupting properties’. This is difficult to define or quantify and those who seek to ban tend to base opinion on the basis of the potential hazard, rather than the actual risk in use, of a wide range of common and effective agrochemicals. In order to have your say visit http://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/ED-consultation It’s not an easy consultation to fathom but the NFU has guidance to help farmers explain the consequences of an arbitrary ban to their own business. Once that’s out of the way please settle down for a Happy Christmas and a hopefully healthy and prosperous New Year.