Farming Matters: Manure smell is part of life

Manure heap
Manure heap

There have been several stories in the paper and on the website recently about ‘country smells’.

Townspeople have complained about a farmer trying to do his job by spreading animal manure on his land to increase productivity.

Wearied by those who complained I was quite heartened to see the comments left on our website, that were unanimous in their support of the farmer.

It was pointed out by one correspondent, and quite rightly, that farmers just can’t win with some people. Consumers say they don’t want farmers to use chemical fertilisers, but when they use natural fertiliser (animal manure) they are criticised for that.

Consumers complain about the price of food, but if farmers didn’t fertilise their land to increase production, food prices would have to rise.

If you live in the countryside you will occasionally have to endure country smells, and farmers and their families endure these smells far more often than anyone else does, in their quest to feed the nation.

If you live in the countryside and enjoy the relative peace and the lovely views, then you also need to put up with the occasional downside.

The greatest irony is that some people who complain about such smells happily walk their dogs across farmland yet fail to pick up any deposit the dog cares to leave in its wake.

The owners consider it’s ‘just farmland’ therefore the organic matter does not need to be collected as it would be on a town footpath. Never mind if the farmer or his children step in it.

But of course that’s entirely different. Isn’t it?