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Spalding area farmer Ian Stancer: "Rolling the dice in the great gamble we call agriculture"




Field work is finally restarting as we roll the dice in the great gamble we call agriculture.

All winter we have convinced ourselves that only a good crop is worth attempting and any field with marginal prospects should be left to fallow but of course you couldn’t do this job if you were entirely rational so no doubt enthusiasm will overtake good sense and most of us will go at least one field too far.

I took a loop to Norwich and back at the weekend to see how the fields are faring over in Norfolk .

INGHAM: Plough Match taking place with winners judged on quality of ploughing .Annual plough match at Neville House Farm in Ingham. 9 sectors of field ploughed with judgements made based on quality of ploughing. Organised by Society of Ploughmen. Picture Mark Westley. (31163365)
INGHAM: Plough Match taking place with winners judged on quality of ploughing .Annual plough match at Neville House Farm in Ingham. 9 sectors of field ploughed with judgements made based on quality of ploughing. Organised by Society of Ploughmen. Picture Mark Westley. (31163365)

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I discovered that many of the Norfolk crops looked ok, their oil seed rape largely untouched by beetles, slugs and birds and their barley twinkling in nice neat rows.

The value of gritty land when the going gets rough, may turn around when we are all crying out for rain in the summer, but I have to say it did look nice.

Talk of Brexit is on nowhold for now and all eyes are on the Covid 19 statistics and constantly changing developments.

As farmers, we are not immune from the dangers of Covid 19 after all the average age of farmers is worryingly close to the danger zone.

However, we do have the “advantage” of near universal self- isolation whilst at work andwe have done for many years whether we like it or not.

On that subject I don’t need to remind you it’s been a long, wet, depressing winter.

One thatwe wouldall sooner forget, easier now the days are getting longer warmer and crucially drier, but the inevitable prospect of a smaller harvest for most, may tip the vulnerable into depression.

So a great opportunity to talk to friends and neighbours in the industry, but please keep beyond arm’s length, preferably outside in a crosswind and if you’re planning on shaking hands, smother yourself in hand sanitiser before and after.

In all respects.

Keep safe in this busy time.


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