A quarter of our drilled wheat seed is still sitting in dust as just 8mm of rain has fallen since my last column. No sign of blue mould on the ungerminated seed as yet. At least with the dry conditions we don’t need to apply any slug pellets.


Oilseed rape crops have had a fungicide and trace element mix applied as some low levels of phoma were found. The next application, due in mid-November, will be Kerb (propyzamide) for continued blackgrass control, provided that temperatures drop sufficiently and we get some moisture.

October is always a busy month out loading wheat for us, mainly for cashflow purposes. However, a relatively simple procedure can be easily messed up lack of communication from hauliers. One of our preferred hauliers is R Adams and Sons, whose drivers always stick to the loading schedule given to them by the merchant and also back this up by a phone call half an hour before they are due to arrive.

Other hauliers just turn up and expect to be loaded instantly. With outlying grain storage this is never going to happen and some merchants try to penalise us for keeping lorries waiting. When our loader driver is sat waiting for a lorry and it doesn’t turn up then no penalties seem to apply. I think we may start sending out bills for those hauliers that keep us waiting from now on. Rant over.

The CAP reform proposals will no doubt start to cause a stir. I hope the title Basic Payment Scheme is an indication of how simple and straightforward the change over from Single Payment Scheme will be. Given the Rural Protection Agency’s past history of introducing new schemes, I doubt it.

jonparker@ragleyhall.com