After such an easy autumn drilling campaign, this spring clearly set out to remind us things are never that simple.
One saviour of modern farming is LED lights, particularly as the window for daylight working hours seem less and less.
Patience earlier in the month has hopefully given spring crops a good start, so fingers crossed for good results.
However, just as the weather improved and wheels started turning, my sprayer suffered a breakdown that held up proceedings for a few days and resulted in a ride home on a lorry.
Luckily, nothing too serious, but why do things never seem to breakdown when there is a run of good weather and you are up-to-date with work?
Most of the T0s turned into T1s due to weather and fields were too wet to travel sensibly. Revystar and Ascra were the products of choice.
I used Univoq last season with no issues, but the risk is too great this year, especially with some of the guidelines that need to be followed.
This means output is severely reduced at a time when spraying opportunities are limited.
With spring drilling nearly complete, the focus will shortly turn to establishing stewardship options and planning a new Countryside Stewardship scheme for 2024.
I’ve learned a lot over the past five years of my current stewardship and hope to ensure the new one is much simpler to manage.
With the weather, input prices and wheat price volatility, I am considering putting in some AB15 options to remove areas that are a challenge to crop and a small field that regularly lays wet.
Drainage would be some of the answer, but the cost just does not stack up.
I hope before I sit down to write my next article that construction of a new grain store will have started. It has been a long wait for it, and created many challenges at harvest in the past few years.
Although I am struggling to convince myself this year the added cost to store grain longer is a bonus after the forced marketing strategy of it all leaving the farm before October last year delivered so well.
Obviously that’s not the norm, and another roof to get machinery under once the grain has gone will add another unquantifiable saving.
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Author: Emma Gillbard
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