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My Blog : Arable Farming

We have our annual farm assurance (Red Tractor) inspection during the first week in December. This coincides with my first New Year’s resolution: to keep all of our spray and fertiliser records up-to-date.

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Winter has finally arrived allowing sprayers to be put to bed for a well-earned rest following a very hectic period of work facilitated by the unusually open autumn.

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A year of change both politically and agriculturally is how I would sum up 2016.

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Talk Agronomy with Vicki Brooks: Crops in good shape despite autumn drought

Arable FarmingAgronomycropprotection

Good, steady rainfall from the end of October has made all the difference to our later-sown oilseed rape and rewarded our patience in holding off on so much of our wheat drilling. And even up to 50mm of rain in 48 hours from the first named storm of the season last week did not dampen our spirits.

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As we head into late autumn, most oilseed rape crops are finally growing away from the intense flea beetle pressure of earlier in the season. Later drilled crops, and those which suffered high infestation levels, remain small, but with temperatures falling, flea beetle activity is decreasing.

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As I sit and write at the end of the growing season it’s interesting to reflect on the year just gone.

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We finished drilling wheat and barley on October 6. Seedbeds were excellent thanks in part to our 10-metre set of Dalbo spring tines which ensured an easy and cheap way of pulling up worked ground in front of the drill, with an average measured fuel rate of just 4.1 litres per hectare with the 535 Quadtrac.

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As I sit and write at the end of the growing season it’s interesting to reflect on the year just gone.

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Sometimes you really do begin to wonder, if not despair, about the road our legislators are following, urged on by agendas of political correctness and their ever-increasing accommodation of NGO groups. The making of rules and regulations which impact farming so greatly, and rarely in a good way, seems to be so far removed from our industry, but also, worryingly, science. What credentials are legislators listening to?

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Talking Agronomy with Luke Wheeler: Flea beetle and slugs

Talking agronomyAgronomyCrop protection

With the past weeks’ weather mainly dry and rather hot, harvest is almost complete with only winter and spring beans to cut. Crop yields have been somewhat average this year, with late frosts and little sunlight in May and June effecting oilseed rape yields and causing very low winter barley bushel weights.

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