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My Farming Week - Malcolm Parr, Lincolnshire

Malcolm Parr works with his father, brother and son across two farms on the Thonock and Somerby Estate, near Gainsborough, north west Lincolnshire. The family also runs a contracting business.

Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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Malcolm Parr
Malcolm Parr

Family farming: We are arable farmers working across two farms in north west Lincolnshire.

 

One is a tenant farm which we have farmed for more than 40 years and the other is a share farm operation which has been running for 27 years.

 

Harvest: We finished the beans on Friday so everything is now in the shed. Harvest has gone very well and yields are good.

 

Oilseed rape has been about the same but wheat is up on last year. It has been a stop-start harvest all the way through because of the weather. We have been delayed about two weeks in total.

 

We have had a lot of heavy showers but I would say the total rainfall has been about average. I did think we were going to get an Indian summer in September but so far it has been the worst month.

 

Field work: We are getting on with preparing land when the weather allows it. We have drilled 109 hectares (270 acres) of oilseed rape and have been applying slug pellets and spraying for flea beetle.

 

On the wheat side we have planned to plant 161ha (400 acres) across our two farms and 40ha (100 acres) of beans.

 

We sell to Gleadell and Woodhead Seeds.

 

We are waiting to lime before we get next year’s beans in and we will prepare land for drilling winter wheat when the weather picks up.

 

We plan to get the wheat drilled at the end of September in the black-grass-free fields at least.

 

We found the black-grass situation was generally better than normal last year and we have attributed this to us doing a lot more ploughing than we have done in years. We are sure this has subdued black-grass levels this year. In addition, we did some late drilling.

 

Hedges: There are a lot of hedgerows around our fields so we are trying to get on with hedge cutting in order to catch up. New European regulations came in on September 1 to protect birds during the breeding and rearing season.

 

The later cutting date means most of the fields have either been prepared or drilled and we are left with the choice of whether to leave them or go onto the field and mess them up. Personally I think it is a ridiculous rule.


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