I hate to tell you all, but on the dry lands of the east we have already planted 40ha of vegetables and the destoners have been running almost flat out in preparation for more, beet harvest is all but complete, cereals are looking well and the reservoir is full.

On the downside, some of the oilseed crop does still look very vulnerable and some of the heavier land will take a bit of drying before we can get it ready for spring planting. A new crop to plant this spring, definitely a perennial and with exceptionally expensive seed is the 22ha of PV solar panels that have to be planted before the payment regime changes at the end of March. Lots of fingers crossed on that being achieved. Thankfully the planners saw fit to allow us to get on with this planting opportunity, not quite the case on the proposed new reservoir.

And before you start grumbling about sending me all of your water, believe me, it is very dry around here! They want to delay the process by yet another three weeks, this time apparently it’s my fault because I put on the application 60m gallons, rather than the 270m litres as specified by some EU legislation or other, I didn’t see any mention of it having to be metric on the form. They have to re-consult those highly intelligent agencies that they have already talked to just in case they can’t multiply by four and a half. Now if that’s a good example of an easier, more adaptable, planning system and less red tape, then I don’t hold out much hope for the future!

Still, everyone has their job to do. Fingers crossed that the England Rugby team can do theirs when I go to see them at Twickenham on 2 February. I will hate it if those farmer focus writers north of the Border to have more to say on this.

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