Grain takes the strain

Round one: Shouting “Git orf moy laaaand”. Round two: Driving a tractor at 5mph in front of as many holidaymakers as possible. Round three: Nipping to the nearest Tesco, buying 200 “value” eggs, selling them on as “free-range”.

Those of you in touch with your rural sides will have twigged what’s going on by now – yes, it’s the Kemira GrowHow Crop Stars Challenge. The real farming task facing the teams entered in the event at this year’s Royal Show, organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, is to spend their budgets deciding how best to look after a crop of barley.

The winning team will get a trophy, and &£250 will be donated to a charity of their choice. The Diary reckons it would be more lucrative for the team (and its charity) to leave the field fallow and claim the EU grant aimed at controlling market prices.

Anyone wishing to see the fruits of the barley growing teams’ labours at July’s show should visit


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