1. Chris F
    Created by Chris F in category Arable
    Oct 3, 2017

    Syngenta’s Farm Sprayer Operator Of The Year (FSOOTY) is back for 2018, with an aim to be bigger and better than ever.

    This year marks the 35th year since the first FSOOTY competition. It has slowly adapted throughout the decades, each year welcoming a high calibre of entrants. FSOOTY is based around a competition and selection process that assesses sprayer operators' knowledge, skills and expertise. The culmination of the competition occurs at Cereals, with a special awards ceremony in the Sprays and Sprayers arena. However, FSOOTY is more than just a competition - finalists and winners find that their involvement often aids their professional careers, and provides lasting friendships with other sprayer operators around the country. Finalists are often made up of first time entrants and while its a well-known and prestigious award, we encourage anyone considering entering to give it a go.

    Enter FSOOTY 2018 Now


    This year you can also nominate someone you think could win the competition. So please let friends know about the competition and even if you don’t want to enter yourself, nominate someone.

    Nominate a Sprayer Operator Now

    NRoSO Points

    We can...
  2. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Farm Life
    Dec 23, 2016
    Go on then, ring those solstice bells. It’s that deepest darkest time of year, with the shortest day yesterday. I’m happy to note that it’s been and gone, so daylight hours will start to extend. I know you shouldn’t wish your life away, but the dark days of mid-winter often weigh heavy on me, and rarely heavier than this year.
    Once more, last week, we got within sight of a second clear test to be clear of TB, before we found another 2 reactors. We’ve been down for over 12 months now, teased along to the brink of going clear in July, and again now. To say it’s something of a burden to a hill farmer, usually selling suckled calves and yearlings, doesn’t really do it justice. Let’s look at some numbers as an illustration. We’ve had a total of 5 reactors, out of 300-350 head, who graze over perhaps 3-4 square miles. Finding them has taken 4 tests in a 12 month period. This was spread over 8 injection days, and 8 reading days - somehow we managed to do everything in a single day for the April test, while problems in September saw us run into a 3rd session. So that’s 16 days of actual testing, and preparation time would probably be a further 4 days -it’s a lot more than that in practice of course. We spend days fetching cattle in off sprawling acreages of common and newtake in readiness, in case something goes amiss on a test day, but some of that time is tied in with management work anyway. So 20 days with a team averaging 5 warm bodies. That’s 100 days labour spent TB...
  3. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Farm Life
    Dec 15, 2016
    • One of the things to bring peace to a ravaged old soul is watching the constant wheel
      of existence, as new lives bring replenishment to the world around me. Seeing the
      ewes begin to blossom as they’re starting to show a bit of belly, filling with next
      springs explosion of life, makes the shortening dark days more bearable. A bunch of
      autumn calved cows have bonny youngsters bouncing around the valley, although I’ll
      soon want to fetch them in out of the weather. And as the spring calving cows start to
      forget to bawl for their recently weaned calves, we’re picking out who’s carrying
      again. This in its turn brings small pleasures. Without the vet rummaging around to
      confirm it, I’d say the oldest cow in the herd, a hale and chipper 15 year old black
      Galloway, is allowed to stay for another season. And that in turn suggests that a
      favourite 10 year old bull is still doing his job. This latter news is very welcome,
      although I don’t think I’ll be parted from him in this world, whether he’s working or
      no. He’s done me so much good over the years I’m happy to give him a retirement.
      Funnily enough, I recall his sire was permitted the same irrational luxury on a farm in
      Scotland…it must be something in their nature.

    • On this matter, we checked the breeding records of several fatties as the cows came
      off the common for TB testing, and they’re all good bar one rotund bossy dun belt.
      She’s been geld for some time, so she’ll be leaving Las Vegas in...
  4. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Farm Life
    Dec 8, 2016
    A report out this week reveals the astonishing news that we’re still evolving. Or at least, it’s astonishing for the very very stoopid I suppose, and presumably various members of Donald Trumps inner circle.
    Specifically, this study has shown that there is a marked increase in the percentage of women growing up who have inherited too narrow a pelvis to safely deliver their offspring, and that this appears to be an effect of successive and reliable caesarean section births. Prior to effective medical intervention, many of these women, to put it bluntly, would have perished in childbirth. And credit to both the study and media reports, this reality hasn’t been spared. And as more children survive who’d otherwise perish, so a physical characteristic which nature would eliminate is multiplying.

    I’m in no way surprised. Indeed, I’ve been saying this is bound to happen for some years. I’m a hard core livestock farmer, and I can’t see why there’d be any difference in such traits in human beings against similar issues in sheep or cattle. I don’t wish to be vulgar – although I usually manage it quite well- but it’s an obvious deduction.
    And before you get on your hobby horse and say I’m being misogynist and sexist or some such, while the study has majored on this trait being passed from mother to daughter, I’ve no doubt whatsoever that male children born via caesarean section will have a marked statistical increase in siring both offspring too large to pop out via...
  5. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Farm Life
    Dec 1, 2016
    I don’t know why, but I seem to have come across a lot of uber vegan/animal rights extremist nutter presence and sentiments of late.

    Obviously it’s all over the social media and the web – those earnest keyboard warriors can spend their evenings pushing their agenda at no cost I s’pose. I could tune out of that kind of stuff, and keep myself in a comforting bubble……….but it intrigues me. And I try to be empathic and balanced, and consider whether there’s any merit in their sentiments.
    In the farmy press there’ve been sporadic warnings to be on the lookout for the militant vegan types sneaking around pig farms, trying to find any transgressions in welfare. Socially I’m hearing a bit about what the anti’s have been up to in a couple of other perfectly legal ‘rural’ activities.
    Then abattoirs both locally and further away are under constant pressure from these ‘activists’. There’s a concerted continuing attempt by a vocal minority to demonise the whole meat industry. They cling to ill-informed rationale, and plead their righteousness. We’re cruel, wicked, destroying the planet, and probably boil babies and nuns to boot.
    I was thinking about this as I dropped a home bred Beltie steer to the plant where our retail beef is slaughtered and hung. He’d spent his 3 years skidding around the hill up here, and lived as happy a life as a beast might expect. I unloaded him still covered in bits of the gorse he’d been grazing amongst that morning, for he’d been living mostly...