After some sun and wind last week we were starting to get carried away that we may be able to soon get on the land, but further rain, and indeed snow as I write this, has put paid to that for a little while longer.
Decisions have now been made on what OSR crops are not viable with around 20% of the winter OSR area to be re-drilled with either spring beans or spring OSR. Most of the remaining OSR has been grazed fairly hard with pigeons leaving just bare stalks and some brown looking fields. Where OSR skeletons remain rooting is generally good and nitrogen plans are on farm to try and stimulate growth when conditions warm and we can travel.
The Kerb application window has come and gone with some applications made in reasonable conditions with good control. We now focus on trying to get Crawler on by the end of the month where we are committing to crops with the main concern being weed pressure due to a lack of crop competition.
The first week back of 2013 was quite promising with wheat crops putting on some new growth. However, two weeks under snow in January brought crops back to earth.
Many crops have sub-optimal plant populations and are going to require careful management through the spring to achieve a respectable yield. Nitrogen plans for wheat are being compiled, applying little and often where possible to allow roots to develop and encourage tiller production and survival through into the spring.
Phosphate, potassium and magnesium applications that were planned for the autumn are still due to go on and will help rooting and crop development when spring growth begins. Foliar feeds are also likely to help crop development but careful attention needs to be paid to what is actually in the products.
With increased spring drilling, fertiliser to apply and a backlog of spraying it is going to be a busy few months!