Farmer TONY GENT writes this week’s WORD ON THE GROUND column...
What an amazing autumn it has been after an iffy end to harvest.
On most of our fields we are into our tenth crop of No-Till and we are now seeing a dramatic change in soil structure.
We started sowing wheat in September and just kept going, finishing in mid-October.
It’s now so good to see the wheat crop all well established and tillering before winter.
Blackgrass levels up to now seem relatively low and fingers crossed it stays that way.
As I write this, it seems that Brexit negotiations for phase one are drawing to a close, hopefully allowing a move to the all-important trade and tariffs. For our industry, this is vitally important.
This is because the economics of our businesses has operated inside the EU free trade system, which has been very much geared to be reasonably consistent against the volatility of both supply and price of the rest of the world.
With leaving the EU, we are going to become part of the rest of the world trading area.
For producers and consumers, volatility really means uncertainty of supply, cost and quality.
Brexit has caused lower currency value, which has improved our commodity prices, but it’s largely being eroded by increased costs.
Lower currency value is a real problem for the country, it’s really the same as your businesses or you personally, when you have less money your purchase power is reduced, and you are poorer .
Uncertainty is the most used word that comes into conversation with all aspects of Brexit at the moment and in general, a feeling that most people are fed-up with it and an increasing number becoming aware that most reasons for it are being eroded or fudged and of the truth of its complexities and wishing it had never happened.