Introduction – Issue 6

Welcome to this sixth issue of Direct Driller. We guarantee you will discover new facts and information on many aspects of no-till crop management. You’ll be aware the ‘soil’ topic has moved rapidly from being a quirky idea to something of which all farmers have become aware. This leads me to think of all those management gurus who all bang on about change, while the instinct of their customers is to resist altering a farm business which is going okay.

The problem is that change is of-course inevitable, and UK farming is set to see more than a few minor adjustments to the way things work. International trading relationships are going to be altered; weather patterns seem to be moving; foreign labour might well be curtailed; interest rates can only move upwards.

Clive Bailye, the man behind this publication, explains on pg 31 the decisions he has taken this year in the face of a change on his farm. It arose out of the blue when one of his three full timers said he was giving in his notice to start a new career. Clive hasn’t succeeded in finding a suitable replacement. The resignation has led to changes which were not in Clive’s head 12 months ago, and in his article he explains the essential analysis of the pinch points on the farm work in terms of skills and pairs of hands.

It makes fascinating reading for all in farming, whatever the size of the operation. As his article explains, if Clive had not taken the no-till route some years ago things would be very different. Seasonal work loads have changed a great deal since the start of direct drilling. Readers considering a move to no-till have a fast growing quantity of information, not least in this and other issues of Direct Driller, and it is a pleasure to be involved.