Farmer Focus: A dark day as team member dies of heart attack


Overall, we’ve had a fairly form spring this yr, however our season has been darkened by a tragic occasion in our team.

On 17 April, the day earlier than we began planting potatoes, Malc, a really valued and key member of our full-time team, had a heart attack at house. He died the subsequent day, aged 36.

He was a person of many skills and utilized an consideration to element and can to continually do issues higher all through his 5 brief years right here.

It was his funeral on 10 May, at which I had the privilege to ship his eulogy.

See additionally: Spelt and rye earn premium spot in Berks natural rotation

About the writer

Andrew Wilson

Arable Farmer Focus author
Andrew Wilson is a fourth-generation tenant of Castle Howard Estate in North Yorkshire. The farm helps crops of wheat, barley, oats, beans, sugar beet, potatoes, and grass for hay throughout 250ha. Other enterprises embrace mattress and breakfast pigs, environmental stewardship, rooftop photo voltaic and contracting work.


Work stopped for the day, and the entire team turned out to pay our respects. There have been tractors, a motorcycle, noise, reek, tears and tributes, and some beers afterwards.

I need to thank a couple of individuals who kindly stepped as much as assist us out just lately – who you’re.

The help has been fairly humbling. The agricultural neighborhood is a advantageous place in a time of want.

Back within the ever-volatile world of farming, the powerful selections maintain coming.

What to develop, what to not develop, when to purchase, when to promote, and when to take a seat tight.

My late dad at all times reckoned to “simply do a bit” (in different phrases, by no means purchase or promote all the things without delay) and that has served me fairly properly.

Is it coincidence that new-season fertiliser is double the wheat worth, as it was nearly final yr?

I’ve determined to make use of polysulphate as my sulphur supply as an alternative of the standard ammonium sulphate subsequent yr.

My observations lately recommend there may be worth in making use of potash on the identical time as nitrogen, and this additionally suits in with the necessity for sulphur.

If we get the timing proper, we may additionally save a move with the spreader.

Our phosphorus ranges are fairly static, and largely maintained by rotational farmyard manure, which is simply as properly, given the value of the stuff.

After an absence of 12 years, I’m now considering rising some winter oilseed rape once more.

This isn’t with out danger or compromise, however the milling oat worth stays stubbornly low.

Time to do some sums earlier than my time will get swallowed by the irrigators…


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