High hopes for low fuel tax.

Edward Tupper farms 700ha (1730 acres) on the South Downs near Petworth and manages a further 112ha (277 acres) on contract. Crops include wheat, oilseed rape, barley, maize and grass for a 175-cow dairy.

It’s make or break time for the potential of all crops. The weather over the coming weeks will determine what type of harvest we shall have.

I hope for some hot days and nights to push the crops forward. The wheats in general look good and even second crop Einstein has decided to perk itself into life after a slow start in the spring.

Spring barley falls into three categories.

The fields drilled when I was away look fantastic. Those sown in less than ideal conditions when I was back and anxious to get on don’t look as good. And those which were drilled when the conditions were right but a bit later look even better.

The lesson learned is that we must either be more patient or have two weeks off skiing instead.

All the wheat has received a robust T2 spray consisting of 0.7 litres/ha of Mantra (epoxiconazole + fenpropimorph + kresoxim-methyl) and 0.7 litres/ha of chlorothalonil. This was applied in ideal conditions and I hope it will give the crop good protection right up to any ear wash spray.

The RSPB has started another bird survey on the farm. This year we are focusing on areas of woodland and scrub and hope to see some different results from the last one.

Initial results are that we haven’t managed to encourage any breeding lapwings to our plot. But one very interesting find was an old World War II bomb lying in the middle of a spring barley field.

I hear that our prime minister and his chancellor were meeting with oil refinery bigwigs to try to resolve some of the issues of high prices.

The only meeting they need attend is the one between themselves to lower the taxes on fuel. Go on Darling be brave!