Wot No Chips??

Ok here we go again, more whingeing by farmers and mixing it by the media.  Yes we know about potato and tomato blight, we know it can spread, we also know about the Irish famine, but in those days there was no prevention.  However, today it can be prevented and contained by farmers IF they want to.  But do they? If notified of the likelihood of severe or bad weather conditions to come which can cause the blight, they are supposed to spray!  This should prevent the blight and they cannot say they were not warned this year so I ask again DID THEY SPRAY??  I quote:-

‘Because infection is so dependent on specific combinations of temperature and rainfall that periods of high risk (blight infection periods or Smith Periods) can be predicted accurately. Advisory services issue warnings for commercial potato growers on which they can base their spray programmes’.

Well as the price of food is on the increase and I do not trust farmers or D.E.F.R.A., after reading an article I decided to take a look at the situation.

The Farmers Side

The farmers are saying there will be a potato and tomato shortage this year, well they say the crops affected by blight and as we all know that means a price increase. ummm. It will cost 80million pounds, yes 80 million!!! to combat this outbreak instead of the USUAL 55 million.  Usual? they should know that if they find any sign of blight then that plant should be dug up and burnt EVERY GARDENER KNOWS THAT ONE!!!  So if they are suffering from 55million’s worth of blight each year they cannot be checking their crops, common sense tells you that. If they were then they would not need 55 million to combat it. (wonder where the 55 mil comes from?) and on the basis of that information it’s their own fault. They cannot go around blaming allotment holders or small holders for their failure to spray when informed about adverse weather, or can’t be bothered to check their crops properly. If they took preventative measures they could cut that 55 million by quite a lot. Ok so it would mean work but isn’t that what they are supposed to do?  Saying that allotment or small holders throwing a ‘rotten spud’ on the compost will cause it is like saying that when the farmers harvest their fields they check every potato to look for blight – as if….

Mind you they have the Potato Council to back them, well in this governments reign money goes to those who whine loudest, and pass the buck the quickest. No one asks this body if they can Prove the farmers are blameless.  Who checks the farms to see if the farmers have sprayed or checks the fields for infected plants? interesting fact to know isn’t it. Stop throwing the Irish fammine in our faces get your farms in order!

Allotment Owners and Gardeners

So now for the ‘villans’???.  How many of the countries gardeners and allotment owners are feeding the country?  most of the allotment growers I know are trying hard to feed themselves, they don’t want rotten or infected food anymore than the rest of us.

People who garden know what blight looks like, and if as the Potato Council states there is a chemical spray to prevent blight, why aren’t allotment holders and gardeners allowed to use it? Is it dangerous to pets and humans?? It’s all very well tossing the blame at these people but if for what ever reasons vital preventives are being withheld IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT!

Gardeners and allotment holders alike are always on the lookout for these things. They watch Gardeners World and Farming programs.  Each allotment has a committee and take a pride in the land they work, competitions are rife and good produce is grown and proudly shown off. All that’s needed to get rid of infected or ‘dodgy’ looking leaves/plants is a bonfire on a small piece of ground, they know that.

As for spoors being carried on the wind that may well be. However, think on this Potato Council, IF as you and the farmers are suggesting the spoors are coming from allotments, most allotments are in cities and towns a long way from potato fields. Even with a good wind they have to traverse buildings pass over other garden plots. Here the spoors would  infect the lot plus all the other plots on the allotments, that’s common sense, so why has there been no reports of mass blight or other infections?

Let’s think…. could it be that the Potato Council have GOT IT WRONG??? could it be, on this basis, that the farmers just want somebody else to blame for their failure to prevent the blight? and blame for the 80 million they want to claim for getting rid of it??

What do you think? Me personally? well I think it is just another excuse to put up food prices. Wonder if we’ll hear the farmers saying they want more money for the potatoes from the crisp manufacturers like the milk lot who knows?

About michaeldouglasbosc

I am retired and live with my wife on a small olive finca in the middle of a forest in the mountains of Spain in Catalonya. I served 9years in the armed services, am an engineer and because of my love of navy sailing ships a naval historian of the 1700-1800's, plus the author of 10 books. When I retired I started writing adult books my first being A Soldiers Wind. Then came Stanley's story again adult books such was his life. Another book on life in the 1950's this very much an adult book. I have now returned to my love of the sea and my latest navy book 'A Plymouth Story' follows the life of Dr James Blackstock. But Clearing In The Forest is an historical fantasy set in the middle ages at the end of King Johns reign. All the books are published on Kindle and Create a Space in paperback. I have worked all my life and for relaxation I sailed a coastal yacht for many years, but deep inside me was a writer waiting to get out. So when I retired I started writing I find story telling both relaxing and - for me - a pleasure.
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2 Responses to Wot No Chips??

  1. Pingback: Wot No Chips?? « Michael Douglas Bosc

  2. cwyl says:

    That is exactly what I felt when I read about this issue! I didn’t research it as you obviously did, to find out about the vast amounts of money being spent on getting rid of blight, but it is a shocker.

    I grow my own vegetables, potatoes included. However, I choose varieties that are supposed to be blight hardy, and always renew the crop using fresh seed potatoes. I know that to re-use the tiny potatoes from last year can increase the risk, and I grub out any that have escaped my harvest dig if they show up the next season. And I am really thorough in harvesting – I dig at least two feet down in my raised beds, and sift the soil.

    It will be really interesting if you manage to find out where that money is going, what for (to spray crops or compensate losses?) and whether DEFRA does something about it.

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