My Farming Week: Olly Harrison, Merseyside

arablefarm lifeCropsMy farming week+-

Basic Payment: With the end of February, the first job was to check the bank account to see if the Basic Payment Scheme had arrived.


Needless to say, the account was still empty. Keeping my fingers crossed it will arrive in March in time for the fertiliser bill.


Growing: The last of the OSR moved off-farm to the crush plant in Liverpool and the next job was to put urea on winter wheat.


After looking at the weather forecast, it was a decision of going early to take advantage of the nice dry weather, as the next fortnight did not look good.


Teaching: In the coming months, I will be living on the sprayer, so I used this time to teach the apprentice how to use it.


After a quick crash course, I rushed back to the yard to meet AHDB representatives to talk to them about the suitability of becoming a monitor farm.


However, they chose another farm. I have told myself this is because they can see no room for improvement, but in reality I could just be in the wrong postcode.


Visits: The NFU North West combinable crops board held a farm visit to Lichfield, Packington, courtesy of John Barnes.


John’s farm shop and cafe has the biggest sausage sandwiches and tastiest chips known to man. He has spent a long time diversifying his farm, which now has an impressive events barn hosting 120 weddings a year.


It is so sad for them and those who have memories there that HS2 is going to obliterate the whole farm yard and business, taking out 11 of his 14 buildings.


A few miles up the road, we went to see TWB Farms’ Clive Bailye, founder of The Farming Forum.


We all looked in awe of his weed-free direct drilled crops. This has to be the future, surely?


Forage Aid: I cleaned down the now empty OSR story and loaded some hay ready for a 98-mile journey north for Forage Aid.


I am glad to be able to help others and, on a wet day, there is only so much brushing up and tidying you can do.


By the end of the week there was still no BPS.


But it was the first time I had been warm all week as I knocked off early to take my daughter to her swimming lesson in the sub-tropical climate of the local pool.

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