News | Stalham Farmers' Club | Leading speakers from the agricultural industry.

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Graham's charity bike to South Africa------------------------

Veterinary surgeon and intrepid bike rider Graham Duncanson has reached Greece on the latest stage of his fund-raising adventure. The Stalham Farmers' Club member has clocked about 3,100 miles to date since leaving Norfolk en route to Cape Town, South Africa. And already, he has raised about £1,000 towards a £10k target for the charity, the Animal Welfare Foundation. Graham decided on this challenge partly to mark his official retirement after 50 years' as a veterinary surgeon and he is writing a regular blog, vetduncdares If you would like to contribute then go to Incidentally, the total bike journey will be in the order of 13,200 miles from Blickling Hall, which is the notional start of this expedition.
Entry added: 27 Sep 2016

Variety challenge
Potato judge Denis Walsh, of Greenvale AP, survived a high-speed blowout on the AI at Snetterton. As he was driving towards Norwich, one of the rear tyres sustained a sudden puncture. When had managed to come to a halt, the complete tyre was shredded. He was able to change the tyre - by using a "baby" spare. Interestingly for the second year running, members had entered a total of eight different varieties - Estima, Ivory Russet, Markies, Fontane, Heraclea, Challenger, Royal and Rooster. Again the standard was very high, which gave the judge quite a challenge But surprisingly even the non-irrigated crops had produced some good quality. However tuber size generally reflected the growing conditions. The results will be announced at the annual dinner.
Entry added: 21 Sep 2016

Big beet entry
Beet judge Ken Matthew inspected more than 550 acres of sugar beet for the club's whole crop competition. And a total of 14 entries were received covering fields from Horsham St Faiths to Roughton and across to Ormesby. There was quite a variation although as ever only a handful of points split the top half a dozen placings. Mr Matthews modified his scoring to reflect the overall importance of establishment and crop management and reduced the percentage of marks for "bolting" by half. As he noted, when all the fields have virtually no bolters, it is obviously more sensible to reflect attention to detail in terms of plant numbers.
He was accompanied by the secretary, Michael Pollitt, on the visits on Tuesday, September 13 - when many crops were clearly hit by the drought. The results will be announced at the annual dinner in March.
The two-acre beet competition will be judged early next month before the Cantley beet sugar factory opens.
Entry added: 21 Sep 2016
Funeral service for Peter Boardman:
A longstanding member of Stalham Farmers' Club, the late Peter Boardman, generously hosted the 175th anniversary summer drinks party at How Hill Farm in June. It was a glorious evening and amazingly for June, the sun shone as about 300 members and guests celebrated.
Peter, who was 84, died on Friday, September 2. His father was also secretary to the club in the 1930s. A funeral service will be held at Ludham Church on Friday, September 23 (2pm) and afterwards at How Hill Farm. Our best wishes to his family and friends and he will be especially missed at the club's annual dinner, which he always attended.
His obituary can be read in the Club Officers section on the left.
Entry added: 06 Sep 2016
The late Peter Boardman.
It is with much sadness that Peter Boardman died earlier today, Friday, September 2. He had spent a great day at the Aylsham Show on Bank Holiday Monday. Details of the funeral arrangements to follow.
Entry added: 04 Sep 2016
Going to the dogs!
A social evening at Great Yarmouth stadium is on the cards - Friday, December 9. Rob Norman, who thoroughly enjoyed an evening in one of their corporate lounges last year, is keen to organise a return visit. If you like to join the proposed evening, please let me know or Rob. Cost - £36 per head, including buffet, private bar, private betting, trackside lounge and a welcome drink on arrival. A deposit of £15 will secure a place to join the party once the booking has been confirmed.
Email the secretary, or telephone 01603 486997

Entry added: 12 Aug 2016
Beet, potato and grain entries
Entries for the best whole beet crop, the best two-acres, and best potato crops are now invited.
There is no cost of entry for this year's competitions, which might be a further incentive to take part.
And please keep a barley or wheat sample too for the grain competitions too. With most of the barley combined, there might be a pleasant surprise in some samples. And, of course, the wheat may yet surprise.
The whole beet crop will be judged later this month followed by the potato competition and then the best two acres in mid-September.
To enter the crop competitions, please send a note to the secretary with a map/ field identification. Also contact numbers too in order to find the correct field would be very helpful.
The trophies for the whole crop, best two acre, best potato crop and wheat and barley will be presented at the club's annual dinner on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
Please note, the whole beet crop must be at least five hectares.
Please email the secretary or write to 60, Chamberlin Road, Norwich NR3 3LY with details or ring 01603 486997.
Entry added: 09 Aug 2016
Caption Competition: please view the photo in the Gallery under Stanford and send your caption to the secretary. thanks.
Entry added: 15 Jul 2016
To Breckland and back - an expedition to the Stanford training area
A joint expedition to the heart of Breckland by members of Stalham Farmers’ Club and East Norfolk NFU branch was blessed with glorious weather – and sunshine.
A total of 29 members and guests started the visit with a buffet lunch at the Angel, Larling, which is well-known for good food and real ale. The landlord, Andrew Stammers, was as welcoming as ever and the lunch was generous indeed.
Then, it was off by a car convoy of some sorts down the A11 to John and Melinda’s Croxton Park, near Thetford. After a minor (and unintended) diversion via the vegetable washing plant, the party arrived to be greeted by Mr and Mrs Raker’s son, Henry, and James Paterson, who had driven straight to the correct rendevous.
Henry welcomed the group and then gave a brief introduction to the various enterprises. On this very light and (normally) dry part of Norfolk, he said that a total of 650mm had been logged since January 1, including 165mm in the past fortnight.
But he was delighted that the sun was shining.
Cropping including 90ha of carrots and 115ha of potatoes plus a further 100ha of onions. The carrots, grown for processing, were drilled from mid-December and were grown under cover for lifting from June 14.
He then led the party on a walking tour to look at carrots, the traditional Scots pine shelter belts, onions and rye, grown for Ryvita. He explained that they concentrated on growing field-scale vegetables while a neighbour, Gerald Groucher, grew the cereals. It was a successful specialism, he said.
Members were impressed by the farm’s solar array, which produced power for the washing plant and also the two onion stores, which had total capacity of about 2,500 tonnes.
Henry also described the rapidly-expanding Salix enterprise, which grows plant material for riverbed and tidal estuary restoration. And, Salix had grown plant material for 26km of riverbank for the 2012 London Olympics.
After returning to CRoxton Park, the party was served tea and delicious chocolate brownies and cake by his mother and father. Melinda has even bought a new large tea pot specially for the visitors.
A vote of thanks was given by James Paterson, who presented John and Henry with a Stalham club silk tie and bottles of wine.
Then the party moved to West Tofts for the final leg of the Breckland study tour. Lt Col Tony Powell met the 33-strong group. He described the remarkable history of the training area, which had been compulsory evacuated in June 1942 and that more than 700 residents had been given just three weeks’ notice to leave their homes. It was also probably the best evening of this year’s summer tour programme, he said.A luxury coach from D & H Harrod, of Downham Market, took the party to St Mary’s Church, West Tofts, and then across the northern part of the 22,000-acre (or some 33 sq miles) training area. There was an opportunity to inspect at close quarters the Afghan village and compound and then the Iraqi settlement.Members were impressed that 13,500 ewes – the largest lowland hefted flock – were run in two flocks alongside a busy training programme. And the party drove past members of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglians, who were also training on what’s now known as Dean’s Avenue – much to the delight of Stalham’s chairman, Jonathan Deane!The final stop was at Frog Hill – the scene for the opening and final sequences of the BBC’s Dad’s Army episodes. And what a glorious finale for a special visit – looking across miles of open Breckland countryside as it would have been more than 70 years ago. The only sign of change – a view of the wind turbines at North Pickenham in the far distance.Back at West Tofts, Paul Corfield thanked Col Powell for spending the evening as our guide. He was presented with a club tie as was the coach driver, Adam.A donation of £175 was made to charities including Help the Heroes.
Entry added: 15 Jul 2016
Breckland bonus points
Join our Breckland outing on Thursday, July 14 - and get 6 BASIS points as a bonus! The club's visit to John & Melinda Raker's farm and then a tour of the Stanford training area has been awarded CPD points. The £15 cost includes a light lunch at the Angel, Larling, then the farm visit and tea followed by the special tour of the training area by luxury coach from West Tofts. This is a joint event with East Norfolk NFU and must be booked in advance. NUmbers are limited. Contact the secretary, Michael Pollitt (01603 486997) or email -
Entry added: 07 Jul 2016
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