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'Seeing crops grow in early spring is a joy to behold'

March 29 arrived and, not surprisingly, Brexit had not happened, writes Russell McKenzie.

If the deadline had been April 1 it would have been far more appropriate and would sum up this whole appalling mess quite neatly.

 

The way our MPs have behaved has been shambolic and whatever deal the Prime Minister has put in front of them has been voted down. There are only so many times you can flog a dead horse. We are the laughing stock of Europe, with the constant disagreements, non-commitment and resignations around the process.

 

It would be hilarious if it was not for the fact it is so serious.

 

There are massive concerns with regards to potential trade tariffs and the effect and standard of imports and there are, rightly, concerns over the future of many businesses with this increased level of uncertainty about what the impact might be going forward.

 

Grain markets have reacted to the uncertainty with prices, although not disastrous, certainly some way off the highs they were around last autumn.

 

I spoke to somebody so disgusted by the whole situation, they considered none of the parties competent enough to vote for and they were seriously considering never voting again. And I don’t blame them. Meanwhile, back to the normal world on farm.


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What a hugely contrasting spring compared to last year, with super weather and drilling completed by the third week of March in decent conditions and emerged crops racing away.

 

Ironically, we could do with a decent bit of rain in the not too distant future and my underlying concern is that we will require sufficient rainfall during the growing season to maintain crop growth after the dry winter.

 

We have a series of on-farm trials this season which will require a bit of work, but will hopefully provide some interesting data, especially the variety trial where we are overlaying it with different levels of inputs.

 

An interesting one is nutrition strips combined with better disease profile varieties, which will hopefully provide pointers on the value of a sound nutrition programme, combined with a good varietal disease package on its own.

With the clocks going forward, nights drawing out and the cricket season upon us, seeing the crops and countryside grow in the early spring is one of the true joys to behold.

 

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