Opinion

Opinion

FARMING MATTERS: Bustling community thrives on the farm

A farm can be like a mini community with lots of different people living and working together. It’s not like farms of old of course, where there were dozens of farmhands, and one of the duties of the farmer’s wife was to feed them all at lunchtime each day.

Opinion
Butter prices are set to rise this year

FARMING MATTERS: Celebrating the glorious taste of real butter

The price of butter is set to rise apparently, due to a number of factors: a reduction in the number of dairy farmers in the UK, the increase in popularity of home baking, and more people returning to natural products and away from margarines.

Opinion 2
FARMING MATTERS: Tackling overgrown trees in the garden

FARMING MATTERS: Tackling overgrown trees in the garden

Grass is the biggest crop on our farm, it feeds the cattle and sheep in the summer and is conserved as hay and silage to feed them in the winter.

Opinion
FARMING MATTERS: Seeing a different lifestyle by the seaside

FARMING MATTERS: Seeing a different lifestyle by the seaside

We had four days away from the farm recently, took a short trip down to Dorset and like most farmers, my husband found the passing fields the most fascinating aspect of the trip as he commented on the progress of harvest in the West Country and the number and breed of cows we saw.

Opinion 2
Farming is considered to be a healthy occupation

FARMING MATTERS: Working outdoors brings health reward

I’ve written in the past about the dangers farmers face in the work place, but according to new research, in addition to being one of the most dangerous professions, agricultural workers are also amongst the healthiest in the UK workforce.

Opinion 2
Hazeldene Open Farm

FARMING MATTERS: Enjoy a summer day at rare breed farm

I receive a lot of emails from readers and I always enjoy reading them.

Opinion 4
Making haywhile the sun shines. Copyright Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Making hay while the sun shines down

June and July are the traditional haymaking months and so it’s been a busy time getting the grass cut, dried out, baled and stacked.

Opinion 2

FARMING MATTERS: Visitors from New Zealand

Before I met my husband he travelled for a year, working on farms in Australia and New Zealand.

Opinion 2
Cinram in Rabans Lane Aylesbury

COLUMN: Community will pull together after Cinram lay-offs

This week more than half the workforce at one of our best known employers will lose their jobs.

Opinion
Sheep farmer Richard Belgrove giving a sheep demonstration at Buckinghamshire Young Farmers Rally in 2014. Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: All hands on deck for sheep shearing

Sheep shearing is well under way around the country and we had our own small flock shorn recently, when it was a case of all hands on deck with help from family and friends who helped out with handling the ewes and rolling the fleeces. We don’t have a sheepdog, so the flock was rounded up with the quad bike as the ewes and lambs were funnelled into the field shed where the shearer Richard Belgrove was waiting for them. Richard is a neighbouring sheep farmer who has a mobile shearing rig on the back of his Land Rover and he travels around the area to help shear small flocks.

Opinion
Water is sprayed on Grenfell Tower in west London

Editor’s column: Grenfell Tower tragedy should be a wake-up call for the government - they are cutting too much

In 2015 I attended a Bucks County Council meeting and the guest speaker was Tony Travers of the London School of Economics. - this is an expert free from political bias, speaking honestly about his specialism.

News
Copyright Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Fewer families than ever farm the land

There’s a bit of a misconception that farms remain intact and within the same families for many generations, but lots of things can actually prevent that from happening. Land which is compulsory purchased for development or for roads or railways can mean farmers having to move off their land and start up elsewhere.

Opinion 1
Dorcas Charolais herd. Picture by Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Open day to check out Charolais herd

We are beef farmers and for 13 years we have used a Charolais bull to serve our suckler cows. Charolais cattle produce gorgeous chunky little fluffy white calves with solid rumps, perfect for a commercial beef herd.

Opinion
Children under the age of 13 are prohibited from driving and riding on farm machinery being used in agricultural operations

FARMING MATTERS: Keeping children safe in the farmyard

Most people do not live at their workplace. For farming families, there is no option. Farming is a way of life not just a job.

Opinion 2
FARMING MATTERS: Farmers are at greater risk of skin cancer

FARMING MATTERS: Farmers are at greater risk of skin cancer

Sunshine and fresh air are good for us, we all need Vitamin D for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Farmers probably get more Vitamin D than most. But the flip side to this is their increased risk of skin cancer.

Opinion 1
Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Column: We stand with Manchester - and all of our children and young people

There’s something to be said for looking back on happy childhood memories, and I’m sure no matter who you are you all have a few. 
For me some of the best nights of my early teens were spent at the Manchester Arena, a first taste of freedom going to see the likes of (don’t judge me) Green Day, The Offspring, and when I was younger still Disney on Ice. 
For anyone around my age who grew up in that part of the north it’s kind of a rites of passage experience - your folks would drop you off, and stand and wait for you in the foyer after you’d pretended to be oh so grown up for a couple of hours.

News
Measuring the rainfall - or lack of it. Picture Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Lack of rain means difficulties for crops

Writing about the weather is tricky because whatever it is doing right now, it could be different by the time you read this.

Opinion 4
Life on Tapp with Blaise Tapp SUS-160516-112125001

What this election needs is a face off

We are four weeks into a seemingly never ending General Election campaign, one which is only creating excitement among avid players of political bingo.

Opinion 1
NFU Discovery Barn

FARMING MATTERS: Chance for children to get interactive

If you are attending a country show this year look out for the Discovery Barn.

Opinion 3
Prue Leith

FARMING MATTERS: Great British food from British farmers

New Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith has urged shoppers to back British farming, after the NFU’s new supermarket guide showed that eight major retailers are sourcing 100% of their flour, butter and eggs from domestic producers.

Opinion
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