Friday, 8 December 2006

Farmers Are Outstanding In Their Field!

If you think farmers are always driving tractors or mucking out the yards, think again! This week has been hectic but good fun! Today I met a group of 'Smart' Farmers looking at how to grow more Oilseed Rape by using different techniques. These range from the best cultivation methods (planting) to sowing the right number of seeds (drilling) and the right fungicides needed to control 'Phoma' or Stem Canker, a very serious disease!

Soon I will be called 'Farmer Sheik' instead of 'Farmer Jake' as we grow more and more crops for energy! By 2010 we will need to double the area of Oilseed Rape grown in the UK if we are to meet the governments target of 5% inclusion of 'biofuels' in bio-diesel! Where will that area come from, when we need it for food production and what will happen to the price of food?

Who eats 'Walkers' crisps with the 'sunoil' in them? That oil is a mixture of oils squeezed from sunflowers, the 'sun' bit and Oilseed rape, the 'Oil' bit. It's a new variety of rape called 'Splendor' and has high levels of transfats which make it a healthy frying option. This can and is being used by the burger giants to fry up the burgers! So when you next open a packed of Salt 'n' Lineker crisps, think of the fields of yellow that you see in May which are surprisingly contributing to your crisps!

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