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WEEKEND WEB: Rotten weather and fairytales

Ian Stancer
Ian Stancer

IAN STANCER writes our weekly agricultural column, WORD ON THE GROUND

It’s been a busy week-and-a-half trying to condense a month’s work into a limited weather window; spring beans are now in the ground in a reasonable fashion but the sugar beet still sits in the boxes and the weather promises nothing but copious rain yet again.

So whilst we contemplate combining beans in November and lifting beet in January, perhaps we will get some light relief by reading the latest DEFRA fairytale “Health & Harmony” about the future of farming legislation in a post Brexit UK.

I spent an hour or so drifting in and out of consciousness and got two-thirds of the way through and can’t remember any mention of growing food for profit or at least any realistic suggestion how we might.

One important thing it does do is illicit a response, whilst it may be difficult to resist profanity or sarcasm, please find the time to respond to the questionnaire before May 8.

Frustrating news this week of the outright ban on the use of Neonicotinoid insecticides in any form in the EU, not because of any reputable scientific evidence, but simply on the misguided whim of pressure groups happy to see a return to more toxic old chemistry and far less environmentally efficient methods of production.

As farmers, we understand the importance of bees and other pollinating insects, but a ban on neonicotinoid seed treatment on a non-flowering crop like sugar beet is madness - even if there was proof of a problem.


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