The Clerk in the Country

Friday 6th May 2022

Fields of gold

For the last couple of weeks, whenever the sum has shone, fields of oil seed rape have basked in their golden glory.  The vibrant colour patching the countryside is not to everyone’s taste and hayfever sufferers must view it with dread, but even on a dull day I find the plants’ determined cheerfulness uplifting.

And at present rape is gold indeed, with a market price twice that of last year.  The reason, of course, is the war in Ukraine, where the national flower would normally supply much of the world’s sunflower oil.  Rape oil is in demand as a substitute and the price has risen as a consequence but is counterbalanced by equally soaring costs for fertilizer, manufactured using large quantities of gas, tractor diesel and electricity.  If farmers here are finding it difficult to plan ahead, it is nothing to what those in Ukraine are facing.

Members should by now have received our April newsletter by post or email.  Non-members may like to take a look here.