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

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Grain samples required, please - Entries for the grain competition urgently needed. If you've got a good barley or wheat sample, please bring them to the meeting. And north Norfolk farmer William Mack has retained his overall malting barley title at Holt & District Farmers' Club for the third year running with a sample of Propino. This will be judged against Stalham's best barley - so, enter a sample - there's no entry fee.
Entry added: 14 Oct 2019
Sugar Beet competition:-

Entries, please for the two sugar beet competitions. We are hoping to arrange judging of the whole crop in early October - and then follow with the two-acre.
Hopefully, with some rain in the next few days, it may help some crops.
We would appreciate entries please by Tuesday, October 1.

It would greatly assist the judge and his escort if a map showing the location/ size of the field, and any landmarks to identify sensible access could be sent to the secretary at your earliest convenience. The field must be at least 10 acres.

An indication of the field size helps the judge find the right field!
As I'm sure you're aware, the whole crop competition is based on crop inspection - and the usual formula adopted by the judge, Ken Matthews.

There is no entry fee for competitions - and on the same note, if you've got some grain samples, then please put them aside too.

Any queries, Michael Pollitt
01603 486997.
Entry added: 23 Sep 2019
Potato judging - The judge, Denis Walsh, of the club's Potato Cup will be walking crops early next month. Please send entries for the competition to the secretary - with field name/ location and size, which will help to locate the right crop. Also the name of the variety and its planting date would be helpful. Entries must be received, please, by Wednesday, July 31 - and the competition will be judged on Friday, August 2. If possible, please send either OS location/ map with your entry.
Entries to or ring, 01603 486997.
And don't forget to take a sample of barley / wheat etc for the club's cereal competitions timings and locations for dropping off samples will be announced soon.
Entry added: 23 Jul 2019
Sand pumping scheme starts at Bacton - An £18m project to pump sand onto the beach at Walcott has started. Over the next six weeks, millions of tonnes of sand will “recharge” the beach between Bacton and also raise the level at Walcott by about 10ft. An estimated 1.8m cubic metres of sand will be taken from the North Sea to raise and widen the shoreline between the Bacton gas terminal and Walcott.
Award-winning potato grower Thomas Love told about 100 members and guests of Stalham Farmers’ Club on Wednesday, July 10 that the “sandscaping” scheme was expected to have a life of about 15 years.
A Dutch specialist, Team Van Oord, is carrying out the work and using a giant Ham 318 trailing suction hopper dredger to pump sand onto the beaches.
Mr Love, who is a former Norfolk NFU chairman, and has 1.7 miles of cliff on the family’s farm, said: "I think it will make a big difference and rejuvenate Bacton and Walcott. The beach will be so much better, and it should help the holiday trade.” He recalled that as a boy the sand on the beach had been so high that it used to spill over into the coast road. Mr Love has lost about five acres of land to the sea in the past six years and during the December 2013 tidal surge about 120 acres of land was flooded with seawater.
Visit for details.
Entry added: 15 Jul 2019
Going organic - Champion Norfolk potato grower Thomas Love is dipping a toe into organic production.
On a tour of the family’s 600 hectare farm, Mr Love said 12ha of fertile silty loam will be converted over the next two years to grow baby leaf salads for Martham-based East Coast Growers.

It is expected that the first organic crop would be harvested in 2021 after the field had been in ryegrass for 18 months.
The farm also grows about 80pc of the country’s home-grown autumn celery for G’s, which will be harvested between mid-October and November.

Mr Love, president of Stalham Farmers’ Club, welcomed about 100 members to Walcott Farms as well as a large number from the East Norfolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union.

Three tractors and trailers provided by members including Richard Hirst and Simon Daniels took the party around the farm as Mr Love said that the potato enterprise, extending to some 320ha, was central to the
In 2011, a total of about £1m had been invested in machinery for the potato enterprise by switching to 2.7m rows instead of the more conventional 1.8m. In summary, it achieved a 50pc increase in planting/ harvesting output and cut wheelings by 30pc – resulting in a seven per cent rise in total output.
Growing some 14,000 tonnes of processing varieties a year, mainly for McCain’s, Birds Eye and Bartlett, he said the availability of water for irrigation was crucial.

The former NFU county chairman took visitors along the sea front, where an £18m project to pump and dump sand dredged from the North Sea will start on Sunday, July 14. The aim will be to raise the height of the beach at Walcott by about 10ft.

He could recall as a young boy that the height of the sand had been almost as high as the concrete sea wall.
Mr Love said that a total of 120 acres of farmland at Walcott had been flooded in 2013 and the threat from the sea remained a constant threat. When the water receded, returning to the sea via Great Yarmouth, it had left quantities of rubbish including plastic waste and salt had damaged the land. He wondered whether these salt incursions could have added to the headaches in and around Catfield fen.
The extent of the rapid erosion of cliffs at Happisburgh was also quite shocking. In the past 20 or so years, it had receded at least 123 metres. The farm lost two acres to the sea in 2007 and another two acres in 2013.
While rocks had been moved closer to protect the cliffs, he had lost 40 metres to the sea so far this year where there was no hard protection.
Henry Alston, chairman, thanked Mr Love, his wife Helen, and son William, for hosting a fascinating visit. Members enjoyed a gammon supper to end a very enjoyable evening.
Entry added: 11 Jul 2019
Landmark sign is back at Brunstead

Almost a year to the day after a landmark village sign was stolen, Brunstead village sign is back.

When the hand-made village sign was stolen in July last year, a plea was made for its return.

Now a new sign has been made by the same two, who made the original one.
Club member and farmer Alan Beck and Patrick Ames, of Home Farm, Brunstead, decided to make a replacement – and now it has been put back on the main road between Stalham and Walcott.
And this time, it was again a family effort. Mr Beck’s son, Nigel copied the design using CAD technology. Thanks to Philip Crane, of Hugh Crane Cleaning, it was cut out of a sheet of metal and then another neighbour, Neal Sands, of Sands Agricultural Machinery, had it painted.

Mr Beck’s son, Geoff then re-erected the finished version a few days ago on the grass bank by the private drive to the family farm and St Peter’s Church. “The sign features a man sitting on a horse-drawn drag rake
because it was the name of the former Brunstead village pub,” said Mr Beck, of Orchard Farm.
The family has been farming at Brunstead for exactly 100 years.
Entry added: 04 Jul 2019
A final reminder - Members and guests are welcome to join the club's annual farm walk by invitation of our president Thomas Love on Wednesday, July 10 at Walcott, 5.30pm for 6pm. It would assist the catering if members could let the secretary know in advance, please. The visit to the award-winning potato enterprise is being held with the East Norfolk branch of the National Farmers' Union. Email
Entry added: 30 Jun 2019
Memorable Royal Norfolk Show salute - A fantastic end to the NFU/YFC grand ring celebrations involved a large number of club members. A highlight to the two-day pageant marking Norfolk NFU’s centenary was the final salute taken by the visibly-moved deputy president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, the Marquess of Cholmondeley. When former county NFU chairmen and YFC presidents stood in front of the president’s box, a dozen free range East Norfolk football-playing chickens, wearing canary yellow, joined the line-up. It was quite spontaneous and made a great spectacle, so thank you to Christopher Deane, James Taylor, Peter Gardiner and many others. Commentator Anna Hill, of BBC Farming Today, added: “I just wanted to say how pleased I was to be able to take part in your wonderful pageant. The amount of work that you all put in was extraordinary, and your skills in organising, persuading, building, engineering and your imagination, shone through. It was a privilege to be part of it.”
Entry added: 28 Jun 2019
Clay shoot news:- A 17-strong team of guns took on the might of Holt & District Farmers' Club in the annual clay pigeon shoot. The club's chairman Henry Alston, who was also competing in the 50-bird shoot at Taverham with vice-chairman Chris Borett, said that Holt retained the silverware again. While Stalham's guns achieved good scores, Holt also top-scored with 45 and the overall total from the top six was more than enough to ensure victory on the night. A good evening was had by all.
Members are reminded of the president's invitation to the annual farm walk on Wednesday, July 10, (5.30pm for 6pm prompt start) at Walcott. Please let the secretary know if you'd like to attend.
Entry added: 21 Jun 2019
Top grower award:-
Congratulations Mr President. Members will be thrilled to learn that Thomas Love has just been crowned McCain Grower of the Year at Harrogate.
And it is especially fitting that members have been invited by Thomas Love and his son William to visit their farm for the club's annual farm walk on Wednesday July 10. It starts at 5.30pm for 6pm prompt departure.
Please let the Secretary know if you'd like to attend. It is being held jointly with the East Norfolk branch of the NFU.
Entry added: 16 Jun 2019
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