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Opinion

Last Word – The bell tolls for metaldehyde?

In the last few weeks new enhanced stewardship measures have been announced, that if successful may be the route for metaldehyde to gain the stamp of CRD approval on its overdue renewal. But is it a good news story? I’m not so sure. The reasons I’m a bit reticent about the introduction of a minimum […]

Smiths Soapbox – Serial Cereals

So another Cereals event comes and goes. I reckon I’ve been going for over 30 years now so to say the show is becoming a regular June event feels a bit like saying Christmas is becoming a fixture in the calendar.   You hear a few rumours about its future but it does seem to […]

Talking tilth – What’s your dream team?

Some people dream about their ideal football team. Others about the perfect dinner guests to wow their friends.   Call me sad, but my dream team is a group of top scientists who come together to discuss a key arable topic. At the Arable Conference at Cereals this year, I had the chance to do […]

Smith’s soapbox – The pit and the pendulum.

I’ll start with a dangerous confession for the pages of CPM. I’m only 75% of the arable farmer I used to be. Unfortunately, it’s not the waistline but rather it’s the cropped acres. I’m putting 73ha of land I’ve cropped every year of my farming life into a Countryside Stewardship scheme that will remain under […]

Talking tilth – Letter to George Eustice

Dear George   I know we’ve had our differences. So I’d like to start with an apology.   I’m sorry if some of my criticisms of your actions as farming minister have come across as overbearing – I can see that while I may have disagreed with the stand you’ve taken on Europe and bemoaned […]

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 […]