Just Fix This

BY JIM WEBSTER Spend much time in farming and you’ll end up dealing with agricultural engineers. There is only so much you can fix with baler twine. In my time I’ve seen steel bars ‘reinforced’ by having heavy pieces of timber strapped to them using string. I’ve seen somebody get a tractor home, steering with the independent brake because the steering wheel no longer turned … Continue reading Just Fix This

Lads

BY JIM WEBSTER I remember an old farmer commenting about lads ‘helping out.’ “One boy is one boy. Two boys is half a boy, three boys is no boy at all.” I know of a couple of farms round here that used to get a lot of lads ‘helping out.’ With village farms where the village was a community, not a dormitory suburb, it was … Continue reading Lads

Spreading Muck

BY JIM WEBSTER I came across this almost certainly apocryphal story. Apparently a town gets its first 5G phone mast. Almost immediately all sorts of people develop medical conditions. A protest group against the mast is formed. The local council arrange a public meeting and bring in the representatives of the company that erected the mast. In it everybody is waving their doctors notes and … Continue reading Spreading Muck

Farming’s Robot Idealism

BY JIM WEBSTER I saw an interesting comment somewhere in the farming press. Apparently in agriculture we’re going to have to get with the programme and adopt more cutting edge technology. The ‘smart home’ is here, we’re now going to have the ‘smart farm’. Certainly moving to robot milking is now an option for dairy farmers. Economics and other factors might mean it’s not for … Continue reading Farming’s Robot Idealism

Farms Don’t Want UK Workers

BY JIM WEBSTER Last week seventy seasonal workers out of two hundred working on a Herefordshire vegetable farm tested positive for Covid. All across social media a storm of people asked, “Why are we bringing in Romanians when there are people in this country looking for work?” The problem is that whilst people in this country may be looking for work, they don’t want that … Continue reading Farms Don’t Want UK Workers

Farm Sales

BY JIM WEBSTER Here I’m talking not about selling farms, I’m discussing the sale that occurs on the farm when ‘everything must go.’ This is normally because the last tenant or previous owner is retiring. Traditionally round here there were three components to a sale. They’d start off with the ‘small tools’. This was the miscellaneous rubbish out of the workshop and other buildings. Old … Continue reading Farm Sales

Reality-Free Civil Servants

BY JIM WEBSTER It struck me that you might want to open your village hall or community centre, so I thought I’d guide you through the new rules which can be found here. First there is a series of warnings: Many community facilities are also workplaces and those responsible for the premises should therefore be aware of their responsibilities as employers. The government is clear … Continue reading Reality-Free Civil Servants