We have chosen an interesting year to try some more direct seeding. The Vaderstad Seed Hawk demonstrator drill planted three different trial areas on two soil types, with excellent establishment results.


The concept of zero tillage is effective for us in such a dry autumn and has reaffirmed our commitment to review our establishment policy.

We continue to have good results from the existing mixed approach of various cultivation policies, tailored to the site and season, but some cultivated land has dried out dramatically, which is causing concern on some conventionally drilled areas yet to fully emerge.

The extended Indian Summer has allowed us to do extra subsoiling this year which is welcome. When the wind allows we can travel nicely for spraying and spreading.

The potatoes here at Whittlesey lifted well and were a reasonable crop. As usual, the variety was Maris Piper for chipping, in ambient storage for the time being. The land was quickly cultivated and drilled with KWS Sterling wheat and given the dry seed-bed, we were delighted when the rain poured shortly after the Cambridge rolls left the field. Unfortunately, it stopped moments later after an insignificant couple of millimetres, which dried up within the hour.

I needn’t have worried about the timing of this year’s Flegcroft Charity Music Festival here on farm. We were delighted with the welcome return of local bands Brotherhoods Roundabout and Citizen Smith, another excellent spit roast pig from Arthur Yardy and a capacity crowd who danced into the small hours.

Again, the event proudly raised more than £2,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity. Thanks to all who helped, sponsored and attended the night. Organising such events is a lot of work for Jayne and I, and it could not happen without such valuable support from others.

philip.bradshaw@flegcroft.com