Its probably been said before but one feels it’s the inevitability of “TB creep” that is so soul destroying. One sees no likelihood of it being sorted and, while the testing is endless government simply won’t summon the courage to do what’s really needed.
They pussyfoot around the issue and wring their hands over a nationwide badger cull lest it will upset the brock huggers, all the while overseeing a policy that sees some 38,000 cattle killed by this insidious killer which is costing the taxpayer almost £100 million a year.
So, if it’s 100,000 or 500,000 badgers which are removed, there are simply too many of them for the good of the countryside. They only cause damage to other creatures by almost single handedly wiping out our native hedgehog population, disembowelling the poor creatures by the most brutal evisceration methods imaginable. And, of course, they pass on tuberculosis to bovines.
I have been around to see this situation go from a low key, increasingly effective policy in the 1960s, achieving almost total control of this nasty disease to its current policy disaster. Namby pamby do gooders are in control of a non policy, undoing all the good of some three decades of a well planned and effective animal health policy, setting it back to almost pre 1939/45 levels.
Obviously I am extremely pleased to say our own recent TB scare – brought on, it seems, by a new slaughterhouse vet – turned out to be just another worry we could well do without. On the subsequent enforced herd test, they all sailed through, without a hiccup. So what were the reported lesions caused by? Its anyone’s guess. Thankfully not TB, and I’m sure this is a great relief to our cattle keeping neighbours as well.
Napoleon Bonapart did many things before he was exiled to St Helena, and one of them, today, is the main cause for me to hesitate voting with my head for leave in the European Union referendum. In his comprehensive and forward thinking Napoleonic code, he decreed, loosely speaking, that “on death, all land within a deceased persons estate should be equally divided between the ‘issue of a marriage.’” So what’s that to do with the referendum later this month, I hear?
In basic terms it is that there are very few French citizens, of French birth, who do not still, today, have some personal, vested interest in their nation’s agricultural industry. If a matter arises that challenges their interests they will always support their country’s agriculture. French governments understand this. The gendarmerie understand it too, so when protesting farmers set fire to tyres or spray sh** and milk on the streets, as we have all seen, they stand, watching, giving silent support.
In EU parliamentary votes the French MEPs will also support rather than oppose votes involving their country’s agricultural interests and, along with newer, rural, less developed EU member states, they therefore hold huge sway within the EU. One feels France pushing its own interests ensures UK farming interests are better looked after in crunch EU votes against urban interests. But for how long will the EU itself last?
In comparison, my heart looks at the behaviour of some of our top UK “remain” politicians, people who are shamelessly scaremongering, lying or exaggerating through their teeth, aiming to frighten the public who have to listen to some outrageously hyped up worst case scenarios, stories from the UK’s top “remain” politicians which would do even the North Korean or Zimbabwean leaders proud. Methinks it’s not a good way to sway us Brits?
Among these people is unfortunately our somewhat devalued chancellor, some of whose fearful Brexit scenarios make even his annual, highly politicised budget forecasts look tame. Yet he seldom gets one of those right, so the fact he is now inventing long term (10 to 15 year) forecasts, which even he must know are questionable in the extreme, is fantasy stuff. He, Mr Cameron and many others of their ilk, should stop and think. Who believes them? For example, if things could be so bad why did Mr Cameron risk calling the referendum?
So between these two positions we voters must make our mark later this month. Or simply not vote? I am afraid my decision may not be made until I enter the polling booth, but it’s not an easy choice, is it? After all we don’t have many unbiased facts to base our decision on, so it is thoughts like these that will maybe swing many voters. Were I not a farmer I would unquestionably support the “leave” campaign, as we have all been deceived and led by the nose by unelectables, masquerading in their second coming as European commissioners. Many knighted, discarded politicians, rejected by the British public, who then turn up in Brussels, taking huge salaries and expense accounts. All the while the European Parliament’s annual accounts never pass its own auditors. Strange they make thousands of rules for us and keep so few themselves.
Growth has finally caught up after a desperately delayed spring. Following the mildest start to the year with barely any ice on the water tanks, the soil temperature hardly budged until the end of April. Fertiliser release was so slow one could have been excused for thinking it wasn’t even put on some fields.
But when the weather finally warmed the response was quick. We put our maize into nice seedbeds on 29 and 30 April and it was up in 12 days.
And 50 acres of contracted out spuds, with the benefit of irrigation, have taken off. It would be good to have access to this water for the maize but generally speaking once it has established it takes pretty good care of itself.