Writing in the middle of June most of the winter and spring crops I walk have received their full spray programme. The next main pass will be desiccation of oilseed rape.
At the time of writing (early July) we have been totting up our June rainfall figures and locally we had more than 220mm in June this year, compared to 40mm in June last year, but in 2015 we had temperatures of 30degC. Not so this year.
The EU referendum vote was one which surprised me, uncertain times may lie ahead but also possibly some opportunities so we need to get on with it and deal with what’s ahead of us.
Grass and cereal crops have grown rapidly over the last few weeks but we have only had 30mm rain since the end of April. The ground is very dry and even the heavier clay land has cracks all over it.
Spring oats have to be one of my favourite crops. Ours were direct drilled into sprayed-off wheat stubbles with just 125kg of N, split 50/50 between the seedbed and GS12. The crop just grows and it seems to be unaffected by pests (other than rooks) and diseases.
Six weeks after drilling and we have not sprayed them once. The plan is to apply an inexpensive broad-leaved herbicide and a fungicide for crown rust.
As much as I like oats, we cannot risk growing where we know we have a potential ...
A month in farming is certainly a long time with crops soaking up the sun and warmth to race on to more normal growth stage timing.
Spring barley drilling finished here on May 5 into ideal seedbeds, although two weeks later than last year.
I think it can only be described as a ‘slow spring’. No two years are the same, but when one has been in the starting blocks for nearly a month it starts to get a bit frustrating.
A mild start to winter has seen us record the warmest January soil temperature since I arrived 11 years ago at 7.5degC, a temperature we would normally associate with March and not January.
The year has ended with most winter wheat (Relay and JB Diego) establishing well and plant numbers higher than expected. Weed control has been good where we were able to get on and spray.