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

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BBC plays Stalham tune -
An unusual piece of piano music with a Stalham connection was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 to add to its breakfast box collection. Composed by Ernest John Moeran in September 1921, “Stalham River” was played by Eric Parkin and had been requested by a listener, a James Paterson. Moeran, who was the son of an Irish clergyman, lived in Norfolk from 1910 and went to school at Suffield then Uppingham. While living at Bacton, he also collected many folk tunes.
Stalham River, broadcast at about 7.35am on Wednesday, August 13 can be heard on the BBC’s Listen Again feature for another 30 days.
Entry added: 13 Aug 2015
Calling all beet and potato growers.
The club's whole crop beet competition will be judged by Ken Matthews in mid-August - on the Glorious 12th! All entries please for whole crop by close of play on Monday, August 10 at the very latest, please.
Entry fee £5. Also a field location/ or map would be most helpful if the right field is to be judged. For the whole crop, it needs to be at least 10acres. Also consider entries for the best two acres to be judged in September, please.
And the potato competition will be judged in early September - so entries also, with maps. Fee also £5.

The competition form is in the competitions section of the website.

On the grain front, while some may have very good samples of barley - please set some aside for the barley competition as well. And if the sun shines again, let's nbe optimistic, then hopefully there will be some good wheat entries too.
Details from the secretary, Michael Pollitt - michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com 0r 01603 486997 and maps should be sent to 60, Chamberlin Road, Norwich, NR3 3LY or a good identifiable scan with OS numbers via email.

Entry added: 30 Jul 2015
There is a thank you letter, form North Walsham Young Farmers in the Newsletters and Info Section of the website, please view. Thanks.
Entry added: 14 Jul 2015
Drinks reception
A summer drinks party to mark the 175th anniversary will take place on Saturday, June 18 at How Hill by permission of Peter Boardman. Further details to follow but make a note in your diaries for next year.
Entry added: 10 Jul 2015
Anniversary plans. A special party to mark the 175th anniversary and series of visits will be highlights of the coming months.A drinks party will be held on Saturday, June 18 at How Hill. A small committee meeting gathered to consider some ideas. Full report in committee business.
Entry added: 09 Jul 2015
Cattle and conservation theme for enjoyable farm walk
Prize pedigree cattle were the stars of the club’s annual farm walk with East Norfolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union.
A total of about 100 members and guests and a dozen North Walsham YFC members were taken around A Hurn & partners’ 1,500-acre enterprise at Hall Farm, Wickmere, near Aylsham. Hosts Jonathon and Karen Seaman and Tony and Phillida Hurn were also on the three trailers to give further commentary.
While Mr Seaman looks after the arable operations including another four contract arrangements in north Norfolk, the 320 head of suckler cattle helped to keep almost 400 acres of low-lying grassland and river meadows in good order.
Mrs Hurn, who was last year’s president of the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association, said that a small herd of about a dozen Aberdeen Angus had been established in 2003 alongside the highly-successful Twyford herd of Simmental cattle. And, she has plenty of good bulls and heifers for sale, she added.
Her family has been farming in the neighbourhood for some 300 years since an ancestor, Horatio Walpole, brother to Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole, had been at Wolterton, said Mrs Hurn.
The party was also shown a first-class of Volume barley, a hybrid six-row, which is likely to yield at least 10 tonnes per ha plus plenty of straw – for housing the cattle during winter. It had been drilled at a rate of 80kg/ha and could have been even lower because of its exceptional tillering ability, said Mr Seaman.
His 202ha of wheat was all JB Diego or Grafton – drilled as good “barnfillers” at a seed rate of 145kg/ha.
The visitors were also shown a new approach to rearing game birds, which has proved very successful. By rearing on a six-inch thick gravel bed and also given regular light showers, young partridges rapidly developed natural protection to rain and thrived, said Mr Seaman.
Another major theme of the farm business was conservation since entering countryside stewardship in 2003. A total of 22 miles of two-metre margins had been established around field plus two miles of six-metre margins by watercourses. A total of 15 miles of hedgerows have been planted and four new ponds created.
However, he had been disappointed in the last 15 years to lose the farm’s nesting species of 15 pairs of pewits, about half a dozen pairs of oyster catchers – all since the arrival of buzzards. And further raptors including red kite, goshawk and even ospreys had not helped either, he suggested.
And further, the invasive Signal crayfish had become widespread in the river and into his ponds putting natural species under further threat. Another pond now had large numbers of so-called edible frogs, which had escaped into the wild.
Members enjoyed a hog roast and ate 146 portions served by Richard and Debbie Lilwall to end a most enjoyable evening. Luke Paterson, chairman, thanked the hosts and also presented a lovely bouquet of flowers on behalf of the club before Christopher Deane, NFU group secretary, added his thanks for the chairman’s help with the arrangements.
Entry added: 08 Jul 2015
Good news for potato sector at Westwick
A major boost for the embattled potato industry will start on September 1 at the former Heinz factory at Westwick, near North Walsham.
A number of leading east Norfolk growers and Stalham members were visiting Heygate Farms at Swaffham, winner of the 2015 Norfolk county farm business competition.
There has been much speculation about the plans for the factory, which closed this spring with the loss of about 200 jobs. Now, it emerges that market leaders Albert Bartlett – known for its best-selling Rooster potato brand - will switch to 100pc home sourcing at its new Norfolk factory.
The Scots-based company, which supplies 20pc of Britain’s total fresh potatoes or around 450,000 tonnes, will be producing frozen and chilled products to extend the Rooster brand. It has now pledged to replace imports from Belgium and northern Europe with locally-grown potatoes and is looking for growers in Norfolk and further afield.
Albert Bartlett, now run by Ronnie Bartlett, is notoriously publicity-shy, but the company is thought to have invested more than £2.5m in the former Heinz plant it bought in April.
The Norfolk factory at Westwick, near North Walsham, had processed about 100,000 tonnes of potatoes and produced 60,000 tonnes of Aunt Bessie potato products. It was shut in April with a loss of some 200 jobs.
Instead of producing the former Aunt Bessie’s “roastie” ranges, Albert Bartlett will be producing home-grown Rooster. And it is looking for more growers to add to its 96-strong core of producers.
Albert Bartlett, founded in 1948, is based in Airdrie, Scotland, and bought a packing operation at Boston, Lincolnshire, in 2006. It did make a range of chip and wedge products until 2009 for another competitor but then decided to concentrate on the fresh market sector.
Entry added: 08 Jul 2015
YOUNG AMBASSADOR POST FOR EMILY
Norfolk-based mental health awareness charity, YANA has appointed its first Young Ambassador.
Fund-raiser Emily Page, who is a leading officer of Norfolk Young Farmers’ Clubs, was presented with a framed certificate and badge in recognition of her efforts for the charity.
YANA (You Are Not Alone) was launched in late 2008 to help and support people in farming and the broader rural community in Norfolk and now Suffolk. It can provide help through a completely confidential counselling service.
The award was made on the final day of the Royal Norfolk Show by Tim Papworth, trustee of the Clan Trust, which has provided crucial financial backing to YANA
A number of other Clan trustees including James Alston and Alison Ritchie also attended the presentation at the Anglia Farmers’ stand.
YANA's helpline - 0300 323 0400 or www.yanahelp.org
More on this story – Go to “Meet the Club.”
Entry added: 03 Jul 2015
AWARD AT ROYAL NORFOLK SHOW
Show president Mr Robert Carter presented the Timothy Colman Prize to a former club chairman, Robin Baines.
The annual prize is made by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association to an individual making an outstanding contribution to promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside in Norfolk.
Mr Baines, who is also the club’s potato champion, was given a framed certificate and book with a signed bookplate on the final day of the show.
At the RNAA’s annual meeting in April when the award was announced, Mr Baines was presented to the retiring president, the Earl of Wessex.
Mr Baines, of Hoveton, who started his farming career in his native Worcestershire, is now farming about 5,000 acres in Norfolk. He joined Wroxham Home Farms in 1983, where he also starting taking groups around the farm, and then became farms manager until 1996. He had been supported by the Gurney family at Heggatt Hall and also at Whitehouse Farm, Sprowston, in welcoming school and other group to learn about the production of food.
He was Stalham’s chairman in 1996.
Entry added: 03 Jul 2015
Stalham Farmers’ Club summer programme
Final reminder for the chairman’s farm walk and hog roast supper on Tuesday, July 7, 5.45pm at Hall Farm, Wickmere, near Aylsham.
Also a reminder for committee members – meeting to discuss the 175th anniversary – Wednesday, July 8, from 7pm, White Horse, Neatishead.
Farm walk – The joint event with East Norfolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union is being hosted by Jonathan and Karen Seaman, of A Hurn & partners.
Already a total of 64 members and guests have booked places – and up to 15 members of North Walsham YFC will be joining the evening as our guests too.
Entry added: 30 Jun 2015
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