Word on the Ground: Agreeing British agri policy – by Stafford Proctor

Stafford Proctor.
Stafford Proctor.

Late summer with occasional glimpses of autumn. The last six weeks have seen the oilseed rape, fresh and dried peas and nearly all the wheat safely gathered in. It has been a busy time.

August weather has been kind for harvesting, but yields of crops are slightly disappointing. Locally we are 10-20 per cent down on our five-year average. This very much corresponds to the reduction in sunlight the crops received in June – again 10-20 per cent below on the average year and critical during the ‘grain fill’ stage of crop growth.

It is also great to see wildlife enjoying the August weather with many late broods of birds being successful and young families moving around the farm.

Dry conditions have been good for deep cultivations. These improve the soil structure and soil drainage capacity.

The referendum vote has set the country on a new independent course. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is consulting with farmers to agree the important elements of a British Agricultural Policy to replace EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. This must be a practical, sensible solution based around safe food production and national food security (producing more of what we eat on this island).

There will be many individuals and organisations who will be pushing for different priorities for BAP.

We hope for a sensible outcome. Now we are an independent sovereign state we need to encourage a thriving rural economy to produce safe wholesome food for the nation. Can anything be simpler?