Having received my 2005 single payment application form in the post about 10 days ago, the countdown to the May 16 deadline has well and truly begun.
Two issues have been concerning me in recent days. Firstly, I haven”t yet been able to rent the 3ha I need to fulfil my set-aside obligations and secondly, due to DARD”s new field maps having slightly different field acreages on them compared with the old maps, my previously worked out set-aside requirement has now been affected.
For some reason my total area on the new map is 0.5ha less than on my old map. I have already made one trip to DARD”s office to make changes to the new map but another trip will be necessary.
First impression of the single payment application form is it looks quite complicated with several separate forms accompanying the main one. I”m booked into an Ulster Farmers Union meeting next week to get advice on form filling.
Ordinary farming has to continue – the cereal crops received 90kg/ha (70 units/acre) of nitrogen and sulphur two weeks ago.
This year I”m applying nitrogen in three splits instead of two. With just two applications I always felt the second one was a bit too much in one go. Splitting it into more even applications should help reduce the risk of leaching and provide the crops with a “drip-feed” effect through the growing season.
Colossus winter barley has received its T1 fungicide spray: 0.4 litres/ha Amistar (azoxystrobin) + 0.3 litres/ha Unix (cyprodinil) + 0.25 litres/ha Opus (epoxiconazole), while growth regulator was applied in a second application as chloromequat 1.7 litres/ha + 0.2 litres/ha Moddus (trinexapac-methyl) with manganese liquid mixed in at 0.75 litres/ha.
Like the man in the New Testament parable, I intend to go out today to look for my lost half-hectare, hopefully returning from the DARD office rejoicing!