Spring is finally here, I think. Temperatures are rising, crops are starting to grow and the workload is increasing.


Oilseed rape has started stem elongation, so a growth regulator, fungicide and trace element mix will be applied before the final dose of nitrogen. Wheat is approaching the T0 timing and a spray is planned, especially as septoria and mildew are prevalent and we have found yellow rust in Oakley.

The first 4ha of onions have been drilled for Evesham Vale Growers and my thoughts are that without rain, irrigation will be needed to get the crop to emerge.

On the machinery front, we are changing two tractors. Apart from the combine, we have always owned tractors, but with some unexpected breakdowns we have decided to contract hire these replacements so we know our costs every month and are not hit with big repair bills. After a previous change of make, we are going back to John Deere and look forward to receiving these shortly.

One thing we are restarting this spring is spraying a sterile strip around the crops. Before stewardship margins we always used to do this, but it is something we have let slip and now we are starting to get weeds spreading from the margins into the crop. So we will be out with the quad bike and sprayer over the next few weeks to complete this.

Just in case we get any wet days, I was pleased to receive in the post our application forms for this year’s single farm payment. Now the process begins of checking all the forms to make sure the information is correct and I am looking forward to a timely payment in December which will, hopefully, cover all the diesel price hikes we can expect this year.