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Last Word – Mighty oaks from acorns grow

Looking back on the content of this issue, there’s a theme running through the technical and roots sections. Small adjustments can make large differences when it comes to marketable yield and profitability. It’s all about that well used phrase ‘attention to detail’.   To this effect, YEN is a brilliant initiative. For a very modest […]

Soapbox – Pesticides, pushers and pyromania

A recent UN report about pesticide use will no doubt make sanguine reading for many arable farmers.   The report suggests most farmers could cut down on their pesticide use and what’s more, this would have no impact on yield. I’m sure most of us would be keen to know more because it makes good […]

Talking Tilth – What’s a sin in farming?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently about crop husbandry skills – whether I’d be judged to be a fit farmer. What’s brought it into perspective is the huge variability of crops I seem to have in the fields this year.   At one end of the spectrum, there’s a crop of triticale for which […]

Machinery murmurs – Computer says ‘no’

I’ve recently been reading about American farmers who have hacked into their own tractors. They’ve even gone so far as to download firmware hacks from the Ukraine to break into the machine’s management system.   It’s probably something that’s understandable – few things can be more infuriating, particularly when you’re busy, when for some reason, […]

Last Word – Soil my undies

  Last month I represented CPM at the Crop Production in Southern Britain conference, held in Peterborough. Being of ‘a certain age’, many of the researchers I revere the most, whose work has shaped crop production over decades, were there. Peter Lutman, Jim Orson, Stephen Moss and one of my particular heroes Mike May, to […]

Machinery murmurs – Driven round the bend?

  I share the frustration of The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) at the statement from the Department for Transport (Dft) that it will no longer proceed with ‘Phase 2’ of increases to the combination weight limits of agricultural tractors and trailers. Trailer-weight legislation is 30 years old and in that time, agricultural developments […]