Word on the Ground by farmer Ian Stancer

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I DREW the short straw and get to write this piece during the busiest period of the farming year.

The wheat harvest though disappointing in quality and quantity is now complete relatively painlessly, with just a tricky week in the middle and we now engage with the mad scramble to kick off the new season whilst mopping up the last remnants of last season with the bean and beet harvest still to come.

The new rape crop got off to a racing start thanks to plenty of moisture and is now further forward than I can ever remember for mid–September, sadly that same moisture from which we have suffered so much grief in the early summer, was just ideal for our enemy the slug to breed and thrive, the slimy army like any army, marches on its stomach and in a few places seems to be thinning out the lush young rape plants to an alarming extent .

The tricky wet week during wheat harvest allowed me to attend the Paralympics opening ceremony without guilt, in fact I was probably one of very few people in the stadium that night who was there because of the cool damp weather rather than in spite of it.

It was a privilege to be a tiny part of the great London Olympic story, at one moment we were all instructed to bite an apple in unison, the apples were British and supplied free or rather included in the ticket.

The planning and logistics that went into the whole event has been epic, and will send an overwhelmingly positive message about Great Britain back out around the whole world and that includes the food laid on for the athletes which was all as British as possible.

The Olympic opening ceremony initially portrayed a view of the British countryside prior to the industrial revolution which managed to escape being too twee, and hopefully the visitors both present and viewing on TV from around the world will have caught a flavour of the landscape as it is today.

Still varied, still beautiful and still farmed.