LAMMA is the UK’s largest agricultural trade show, where over 850 exhibitors will host the most extensive array of farm machinery, equipment, and services to be found in one location anywhere in the UK.
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.
Market intelligence is the lifeblood of effective decision making. The ability to understand availability, market demands and trends. For the UK potato industry it is the national planted area, its yield, consumption levels, and an overall picture of the national potato stock position.
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.
At the risk of making life a bit too exciting, it adds interest and potential benefits to have on-farm trials. For me, 2018 is ‘attempt min-till year’. Not an earth shattering ambition (pun not intended, but irresistible), you might be thinking, but it is plenty challenge enough in an organic rotation.
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.
Average theoretical potential maximum yields of winter wheat once again were estimated to be about 20 tonnes/hectare last season. The average UK yield was close to 8t/ha which is only 40% of the potential, while the highest yielding growers achieved more than 60% of this potential.