Summer is officially upon us, writes Hugh Besent, though the weather has turned a little unseasonal, but what is seasonal anymore?

May gave us 15mm of rain in all, but we have already had a dose of 61mm in 11 days of June. Fortunately, between rainy days, we have managed to do our second cut of silage with a good yield and hopefully, good quality.

The kitchen garden is looking better for the rain. The second early potatoes are in full flower but with the main crop yet to start flowering. The beetroot, after a slow start, are now looking very good, as well as the lettuce. At the moment the only disappointment are the runner beans, which may be in rather a windy spot. Suddenly the lawn needs cutting again after a rest for a few weeks when it started to look like Savannah grassland.

The dry spring had burnt off the grass on the drier banks in our grazing fields, but following the recent rains, it is thankfully coming back. What a wonderful “stuff” grass is, belonging to the Gramineae family which has in it over 12,000 different species.

Mankind relies on this family for most of its food including wheat, barley, oats, maize, sugar cane, rice and sorgam to name but a few species. Many of the world’s animals, wild or domesticated, rely on grasses for their existence. Most of our modern rye grasses have only been selected and developed from wild rye grasses.

Over 40 per cent of our planet’s land mass is covered with grassland from the Arctic Tundra to the tropical Savanah.

Environmentalists who push for more open wild places covering them with trees should realize that grassland is very versatile and supports more species than dense woodland.

Although it’s been a busy fortnight and farm matters have taken most of my time, I do try to keep up with the politics of agriculture. It seems to me that most politicians have so much to contend with at the moment, and with Covid-19, race issues, Brexit and so forth, that issues that impact on our industry seem of very little importance to them.

Politics and political ideology itself seem to override the issues. When will they realise that the quality of our food which is not truly addressed in the Agriculture Bill, and the future of our industry in Wales, which is threatened by the NVZ proposals, may really be at the heart of what is important for all of us in the future?