As farmers are we sometimes too honest and open, asks William Tyrrell.
Openness regarding how we grow a crop and what it contains is vital for consumer confidence and trust; remember what the horsemeat scandal did to supermarkets?
But is it in our best interests to publish our exact crop yields every year in national survey results, and the financial details of how that crop was produced?
By revealing this information I feel at times the industry is putting itself at a distinct disadvantage. Customers the industry supplies know exactly what to pay us to keep us existing, while at the same time maximising their profits.
Does a supermarket publish its buying in price and sales figures for washing powder so everyone knows what the margin is on it?
Is it not better for the farmer to decide what margin he wants to make on a crop using the principle of supply and demand to set the price, rather than taking a price the customer believes the farmer should get to just cover his costs?
On the farm things are busy, with autumn cultivations on track, potato harvesting underway and drilling set to start in the next few days. The decision was made to delay drilling slightly to help the blackgrass control programme. Whether this is a good or bad move remains to be seen; the results will be on show for all to see next summer. While out and about this autumn I’ve noticed an abundance of wild berries and fruit, is this a sign of what is set to come this winter?