- Jan 17, 2009
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You say that - when I was at uni, I visited a business called Littlecote Farm Partners that were then farming 8000 acres of arable land near Hungerford - and they were proud of one block of land they farmed as it was in 'continuous wheat' - and had been for the past 20 years or so.Much as I would love to fathom that one out, and can't dispute it as I cannot witness it myself, but only a fool of a farmer would constantly grow wheat in the same field, regardless of how much chemical they throw at it 2 years is the most recommended before a break crop, usually rape.
i walked with my dog near my boyhood village of ivanhoe last weekend under the slopes of dunstable Downs in the eastern chilterns, ok nostalgia can be deceptive as i had last done that some 40 years ago but:There are some fields near me that I sometimes walk the dogs round (when the sprayer's long gone!) that are utterly stone dead - I've stood and watched in amazement as they've ploughed them, with not a bird in sight - anywhere!
I've also seen (and smelt) the innumerable sprayings they seem to find necessary to grow the same crop year after year (winter wheat).......Enough to make you weep!
Unfortunately, the MMB - Milk Marketing Board & PQS - Potato Quota Systems were scrapped long ago which helped stabilise the prices - for a few reasons.The simple answer is that DEFRA should take the bull by the horns (spot the pun), and do something useful for a change, instead of representing their masters in the agrochemical industry - set minimum prices allowed to be paid by supermarkets that would allow farmers a reasonable margin to allow humane and extensive methods to be used....
That's exactly what I was thinking.I watched in some horror on Sunday evening as the factory farmer who wants to start a "cow battery farm" tried to justify his actions (on BBCs Countryfile - should still be on iplayer) - we're on the verge of letting chooks out of battery cages, and this cretin wants to put cows into them...... His "argument" was that it would enable him to compete with cheap foreign imports where standards are even lower (is that possible?).
Let the system totally collapse to the point at which we are fully reliant on imports and the UK price goes through he roof.There are probably many farmers who would love a return to the guaranteed prices paid by the old quota systems, but the reality is that consumers will not pay for it, either through the tax system (via subsidies) nor through the shops...
...so what to do ?!
I am completely with you there Broville. I was looking up a link to the book "One Straw Revolution", when I saw you posted a wiki link to the Author. The book is a great read. I started my own "One straw revolution" about eighteen months ago, the difference even in a short space of time is incredible, the good things is Nature knows what to do.