Philip Reck manages 900ha (2224 acres) of light to medium loams within 20 miles of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Ireland. Cropping is cereals and oilseed rape, all min-till established

It is a welcome relief to have only five days of spraying left.

Winter wheat has received its T2 of 1 litre/ha of Venture (epoxiconazole + boscalid) plus 1 litre/ha of Bravo (chorothalonil).

I added 0.3 litres/ha of Opus (epoxiconazole) to up the triazole rate as septoria was visible on the third leaf in early sown Humber. This may have been an old infection, but it made the addition worthwhile nonetheless.

Spring barley looks great, with nice, even, well tillered crops. It has just received its T1 of Proline (prothioconazole) + Jenton (pyraclostrobin + fenpropimorph) and Bravo with manganese and zinc completing the mix.

I have just returned from a visit to the Vaderstad factory in Sweden. It was great to leave the wind and rain behind for some warm sunny weather.

It was a particularly enjoyable trip with 22 farmers from Ireland along with our rep from local dealer Perry’s of Athy and reps from Vaderstad UK.

It was especially interesting seeing the machines being made and tested, particularly in the quarry where they are operated on a bed of crushed stone until they break or wear out.

Strangely enough none of us was interested in taking over from the drivers at this particular job, some choice phrases being used to describe your state of mind after spending the day driving up and down the same track.

It’s reassuring to see equipment being pushed to the limits and beyond to ensure that what we use everyday will remain reliable and intact. This was followed by a professional demonstration of different machines that make up the product range.

We then retreated to the bar to continue the great tractor debate at length and with great passion by some of the group, while the rest of us indulged in a beer or two.