Visit the UK’s leading indoor agricultural event, with eleven packed halls of the very latest in agricultural machinery and equipment. Now at the NEC, Birmingham this is free to attend and free to park.
A good inch of mid-August rain in most places – and quite a lot more in some – caused a hiccup as we neared the end of harvest. But it has been just what we needed for oilseed rape sowing and autumn stubble management, as well as cover crop establishment and potato desiccation.
In 1976 I’m told the weather broke about now, August bank holiday weekend and then it didn’t stop raining until winter. Legend has it that potatoes were planted in snow and lifted in snow - but I’m told they were well worth the effort and should be this year too.
Organic Arable has just Tweeted that one of our producer members is combining Mascani at seven tonnes/hectare. Add that to this season’s low moisture readings and it is a very satisfying yield – and a hard act to follow.
It’s time to think about recruiting the wild oat rogueing team for July/August. Google says ‘sowing wild oats was applied figuratively to young men who frittered away their time in stupid or idle pastimes’.
Well nearly almost all the spring cropping was drilled, but not quite. After having to wait patiently for soil conditions to improve we eventually managed to finish spring drilling in early May, thanks to some greatly appreciated long hours from the team to make the most of the weather opportunities.
It has been pretty frantic this past month but some decent warmth, as well as moisture, means most of our crops have caught up well. We are getting on top of our fieldwork too, so we are moving into the second half of May in relatively good shape.
As I write, in the middle of April, the weather forecast for the week ahead looks rather confusing. It seems to be showing very unfamiliar sunny symbols and potential temperatures in the early to mid-20s, something which hasn’t been seen for a good while now.
Reading back over last month’s comments when my copy of Arable Farming arrived in the post, I thought how optimistic I had been that spring was just around the corner. What I didn’t appreciate at the time was that a month later I would still be writing the same messages about waiting for the land to dry out before we can get on with the spring workload.
Well it happened – it stopped raining and we have managed to move house. We have a great view and it will be enhanced shortly when the local farmer starts grazing the marshes with his cattle. The house move was not without its glitches and a few false dawns, a bit like the weather with the mini-Beast from the East delaying the onset of spring once again.