Direct Driller Issue 23 – Introduction

We all know of farmers who have the knack of getting decisions right, and equally know others who regularly find themselves getting it wrong. Their farms can be outwardly similar, but there’s a huge difference in performance. The successful farm business looks and responds to events they see as beneficial, while the strugglers play catch-up and then get it wrong.

Helping farmers move up the efficiency scale is very much part of our role at Direct Driller. From the first issue in 2018 there has been an emphasis on real farmers’ experiences and how they have responded to weather and other events. Rather than reading academics saying “the science says this”, much of the contents comes from farmers in the field, which is something now much to the fore in the mainstream farming press.

Farmers’ experiences are now beginning to be given credence – they do know what they are talking about, on their own land if not wider. Today farm walks and open discussion is more frequently encouraged. These events could be better pulled together by colleges and universities but his is difficult when these institutions are competing with each other for funding.

Cooperation, which includes bringing in information sources such as the journals I’m involved with, and others, could produce a more structured agricultural research programme that is tailored for farmers rather than academics. The fear of duplication of effort is often overstated.

This thought occurred as I was heading home from the Covering Soils event at Clive Bailye’s on 21st Sept. The event provided
an excellent transfer of info between the all involved.