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Land management contracts analysed: item 10 - biodiversity
cropping on inbye.
Surely the stupidest of them all
Teviot Scientific, Cultybraggan Farm, Comrie,
Filed 14th Mar 05
This article continues the series which analyses
the 17 items included in the menu of the recently announced Land
Management Contracts as they affect Scotland (1).
Sowing plots of spring cereals, fodder root crops or fodder rape
on inbye land. A higher payment will be made available when a
cereal crop is harvested by binder and stooks gathered into stacks.
The payment rate is £40 per hectare per year and a higher
rate of £150 per hectare per year for stooking.
An increase in traditional cropping rotations in Less Favoured
Areas creating a more attractive landscape and improved biodiversity,
particularly bird populations"
The last time I saw a binder and helped (in a
very small way) to make stacks out of stooks was more decades ago
than I care to admit. According to an article in the Scottish Farmer
it is more than half a century ago that a binder was manufactured
in this country. Indeed the Scottish Farmer managed to trace one
in the possession of a collector of vintage machinery and put an
excellent photograph of the machine on its front page for us all
to get familiar with (2). Interested parties
can get in touch with Robert Dykes, agricultural engineers, Burnside
Works, Thornhill by Stirling, but it would be advisable to allow
sufficient time for new spares to be constructed.
However, the science of engineering has allowed
us to move on since then. What esoteric and impractical lobby group
has managed to get this item included in the menu of Land Management
Contracts (LMCs) that are funded out of deductions from all Scottish
farmers under the heading of modulation? This on a background of
the Scottish Executive calling for greater efficiency on the part
of farmers (3).
While some may simply dismiss the content of this
item with derision, the fact that it is included in a national strategy
relating to modulation of the Single Farm Payment to all Scottish
farmers is a matter of deep concern. It reveals the level of thinking
that has been going into the revolutionary (but largely destructive)
changes that now affect in farming in Scotland.
Derision for sure, but also deep sadness about
how the management of farming has apparently passed from those who
have served this country so well for generations - in terms of both
food production and the environment - to a group of environmental
political lobbyists with apparently no interest or knowledge other
than their own narrow concerns.
Frankly it is pathetic.
1. Irvine, James (2005). Land
management contracts analysed: items 8 & 9 - moorland grazing
and rush pasture.
See SOCIAL/ECONOMIC/POLITICAL Homepage, filed 14 Mar 05,
Here to View
2. Scottish Farmer (2005). Front
page. 5th March 2005.
3. Irvine, James (2005). Review:
SAC Outlook Conference - "Benefiting from change". Murrayfield
Stadium, Edinburgh, 16th November 2004.
See SOCIAL/ECONOMIC/POLITICAL Homepage, filed 23 Jan 05,
Here to View