Comment – reasons to be cheerful

Now that yours truly has acclimatised to the dark at 5pm and got used to torrential rain, perhaps things aren’t as bad as I thought?

On the one hand, the impact of the last month’s rainfall, and the damage to people, farmland and businesses has been tough. Several arable businesses have pulled up the stumps on autumn establishment now, and more than one agronomist has told me that spring wheat seed is now in short supply.

On the other, October’s tractor registrations bucked last years numbers, and were above the long term average. Farm borrowing in real terms is at its lowest since 1998, and whilst wheat yield, quality and price were down this year, human and industrial consumption was up. Rumours of the large scale collapse of UK agriculture may be a little over egged.

As I look out of the window, the sun is shining, the tups are running with the ewes, the cows are being laid in for winter and those still with ploughs and combi-drills will be looking forward to some later autumn drilling (if the weather carries on for a few more days like this). At this point we could digress to discuss changes in the world of plough and cultivation dealerships north of the border, but that can wait for another day.

We subscribe to a reasonably reliable long term weather forecasting service, which has been available all of my life and at the age of 85, my Dad does have some experience to go on! This year he is predicting a hard winter, and as the berries (see todays pic) show, that may well be the case.

Have a good week.