Talking Arable with Iain Green: Lack of drying weather


I should have known better than to write last month that we had only had 30mm of rain since the end of April. No longer had I finished writing it and we have received rain almost every day since. Although we have only had over 50mm in the last three weeks it feels worse because when it does rain it has been very heavy showers.

We had a busy but very successful Royal Highland Show with our pedigree cattle. In the Simmental Breed classes we had three firsts, two seconds, a third, two fourths and a sixth. Our group of Corskie Gingersnap, Corskie Flume and Corskie Figem were Champion group of three and Champion sire group of three as they were all sired by Bel Dhu Capercaillie one of our stock bulls. Our young bull Corskie Gingersnap was Junior Male and Overall Junior Champion and then went onto be Overall Male Champion before becoming the Interbreed Junior Beef Champion and being Reserve Beef Breeder Champion. Corskie Figem was Junior Female Champion and she went onto be Reserve Overall Junior Champion.

Before I attended the Royal Highland I was fortunate to be able to go to Cereals, having not been for several years. However, I would not like to repeat the experience we had of getting there again. Having arrived at Aberdeen airport in good time for an 8.45pm flight to Luton, we were still in the departure lounge at 12.10am only to be told Aberdeen was fog bound and the plane would not be landing to collect us.

With the next flight to Luton departing at 2pm the following afternoon, by 1.15am I was on route to Edinburgh driving four friends who had been enjoying Aberdeen’s finest liquid refreshments for the previous five hours.

We arrived at Edinburgh airport at 4am in time to check in for the 7am flight to Luton. However we arrived at Luton only to find my hire car had been given to someone else despite my phone call the previous night to say I would be late. After a few words and a change of hire car provider I was on my way to what turned out to be a great event although by 10.30 pm I was ready for my bed.

To date we have made no hay and silage has been difficult to lift dry. We were lucky to have a demonstration of another self-propelled forager and when we got a two day window in the weather we managed to secure it in good condition using both our forager and the demo one.

As well as lifting silage over those two days we also managed to spray the last of the spring barley with a flag leaf/head spray .The tank mix consisted of Arizona at 0.8l/ha (folpet), Jaunt (fluoxastrobin+prothioconazole+trifloxystrobin) at 0.3l/ha and Velocity (wetter) at 0.25l/ha. [poss pull quote] All the spring barleys, both on the heavier and lighter land, look really well and have good straw length but one field on light soil which at the time I felt it did not require growth regulator should have had a small application applied as it has started to go flat in several places.

The winter wheat also received its final spray consisting of Ennobe (epoxiconazole+prochloraz) at 0.25l/ha tank mixed with 1.0l/ha of Monkey (prochloraz+tebuconazole). In previous years if we have been getting long dry sunny spells we have missed out this final spray on the winter wheat but with this showery weather we must protect this crop which this year looks full of potential. If only the price were better.

Hopefully by the time you read this article we will be starting our winter barley harvest.


Abby Kellett
Posted by Abby Kellett
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