The wheels are turning and we have finally sown our spring beans. However, at well over £400/t for the seed, I hope the pigeons don’t get their share.


We had intended to use our home-saved seed, but after it was analysed at a germination of only 65%, we had a hasty rethink.

It puts a question mark on the viability of the crop, but because I have broccoli and cauliflower in the rotation, I have only a limited choice of break crops available to me. I recognise that too much second wheat is not a good idea, so I felt that I had little choice and decided to stick with the original plan.

The soil conditions are ideal, but an icy breeze ensures that a minimum amount of time is spent outside the comfort of the tractor cab. Looking ahead, we will be spending a considerable amount of time in the tractor cab, sowing barley and spreading fertiliser.

Adam, our agronomist, has been sending in early recommendations to spray for wheat bulb fly, which have survived the winter frustratingly well. It’s similar to the mosquitoes on Scotland’s west coast, whom experts are predicting will be 10 times more plentiful than last year. So if you are planning to go there on your holidays, pack plenty of repellent.

After spending the last eight years being mocked by some of my farming friends for my involvement in our local amateur musical drama society, I was very surprised to hear that one of them wanted to join. If you are reading this article while enjoying your supper on Friday night, we will be treading the boards performing Guys and Dolls. This year I only have one line to remember and so far I always forget it, and when it is. Wish us luck, or preferably break a leg.

 

 

 

farmer focus arable:neilthomson