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Steve Heard: Flights to the USA booked in search of a new drill

Insights

So far this month there are only two dates on the calendar without a significant rainfall entry. Luckily all our soils are still just above water, but any crop inspection does require decent wellies. I cannot help wondering, can earthworms drown?

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Last month I again completed the annual soil review, but now realise I should have made more emphasis of our much reduced soil erosion achieved by not drilling tramlines. Instead of blocking seed coulters on the drill or dragging marker tines, I rely on the GPS steering of the sprayer. After so much rain, it is very apparent the remaining crop which continues to grow within the wheeling’s, provides a surprisingly effective protection against an unavoidable flow of water.

 

On a positive note, boggy fields have put a halt to any uninvited hare coursing. Hopefully if they do return then they will drive just that little bit closer to a blocked drain so narrowly missed last time. Not only would that prevent anymore mess across our crops, it might aid the police in recovering at least one stolen 4x4.

Shortlist

Flights into the USA are now booked as the search for a new cereal drill becomes more serious. After many hours spent trawling the internet, I so far have a shortlist of three second-hand drills located at dealers within less than a day’s drive of each other. Let’s hope the Indiana weather soon warms a little, because covered in snow they will surely all look the same.

 

I have to be careful what I wish for, but some cold weather here would not do our forward lush crops any harm. A few good hard frosts would certainly kill the embarrassment of the charlock already flowering in one of my OSR crops. I had considered an expensive Clearfield hybrid variety which would have provided any easy control of the weed, but instead I still hope for some seasonal weather to provide a cheaper solution.

 

I have now checked and been reliably informed that my much nurtured earthworms won’t suffer from periodic saturated soils.

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