Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
I know I shouldn’t even entertain the thought in February, but I have to say as I look out on a beautiful sunny day it feels like spring might soon be with us.
Soil temperatures are creeping up, the days are lengthening and yes, okay, the oilseed rape looks miserable but let’s face it, it is rare it looks anything else at this time of year.
That said, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on the wonderful Northumbrian coast at the beginning of February and we were interested (miffed?) to note oilseed rape crops in that neck of the woods looked considerably better than many of those back home in East Anglia.
I am safe in the knowledge stopping and looking at other peoples’ crops is a common practice in the farming community, although I have to say we reached no firm conclusion – so if any Arable Farming readers have a view on why OSR crops in the Alnwick area look so good, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
There is a busy time ahead and I hope some of the features we have assembled in this month’s issue provide some pointers to good decision-making and good practice when the pressure is on.
It was interesting reading them to see a theme emerging, which I will sum up as better targeting of inputs. So whether you are looking to improve your winter wheat growth stage identification skills, thinking about upgrading the boom control on your sprayer or are scratching your head over spraying logistical challenges, we’ve got it covered.
Away from arable agriculture, I cannot help but be dismayed as I read, watch and listen to the current coverage of conflict around the world, shoddy behaviour in the banking sector (again) and economic uncertainties. But the truth is more often than not these events will in some way affect us – be it as a result of their impact on currency values or grain markets, or changes in the way supermarkets seek to work with their suppliers.
Our feature on changing food consumption trends might seem a long way away from the farm, but the effects of falling consumption of potatoes and bread are felt much closer to home. At the end of the day news, be it international or local, will often have an influence on the decisions we make.
Here at Arable Farming’s parent company Briefing Media, we are working hard to bring you the news relevant to your business and help you look behind it.
Teresa Rush, Arable Farming editor.