Last week”s weekly Anglia weather forecast stated the region had recorded a very dry winter. Not in the last month – I”ve tipped out exactly 100mm in 28 days to Mar 12, mainly from daily snow and sleet showers. Temperatures rarely got above 3C and the wind stuck stubbornly in the north. With nothing between us and the North Pole it”s been miserable to say the least.
But am I pleased nitrogen went on a month ago, with travelling now difficult and a strong wind all week. With temperatures rising the winter barley is now getting on with it.
No doubt like the rest of you, I have been attending endless meetings relating to the single payment scheme and, more recently, the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme. By and large I have got to grips with the schemes apart from dealing with the registration of “other land” on the Rural Land Register. With a considerable area of woods, lakes, former World War II runways and buildings, our IACS 22 application, if not dealt with quickly by DEFRA will prevent us getting our ELS application in on the first entry date.
Access to the ELS should be fairly painless – thanks to historically keeping hedges in good condition. A preliminary points count indicates most will come from hedge options, meaning very few costly options will be required.
Organic Meli spring beans were finally drilled on Mar 16, at 200kg/ha using our Vaderstad drill immediately following the plough. Vining peas followed on, Cabree going in at 215kg/ha on light land. After drilling the field, I was relieved to continue the next day after the previous night”s forecast rain failed to materialise.
And by the time you read this, with any luck we”ll have started potato planting and got some beet in.