Friday, 06 August 2021

A message from agricultural chairman

ANOTHER year of weather extremes which has had a huge impact on agriculture.

ANOTHER year of weather extremes which has had a huge impact on agriculture.

The wet summer of last year turned into an even wetter autumn and left many growers struggling to get crops established. Thousands of acres were either lost or never drilled at all.

As a result the national area of wheat is some 20 per cent below what it would normally be. The poor soil conditions will impact on some farms for several more seasons yet.

Livestock farmers had to cope with high feed costs, a lack of forage and wet pastures forcing an early start to winter housing.

As a nation we have one of the lowest levels of self-sufficiency in Europe. One way we can all help to improve this situation is to actively seek out British produce — look for the little red tractor mark on food labels.

The show, ploughing match and sheepdog trial were all well supported and benefited from good weather.

I hope you have an enjoyable day at the show. Please take time to look at the new layout of the livestock area and the excellent poultry show.

There will be steam traction engines joining the usual display of vintage tractors this year. The heavy horses will be out in force once again. As always there will be lots going on in the food and farming marquee. Look out for this year’s main ring displays — they will be quite spectacular.

They include a steam engine parade, with a range of full size and miniature steam traction engines.

There will also be a foraging display. After the success of the working farming display in the main ring last year there will be a display of hay, straw and grass harvesting. The ring will be drilled for grass, cut with mowers and then baled and wrapped, showing modern machinery alongside vintage tractor displays.

Finally, we hope to see you at the ploughing match on Sunday, October 13 when we will have even more going on than last year.

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