Since last writing the rain has continued to fall, and is continuing to cause problems for growers across the region. A slightly less wet spell towards the end of October allowed some to progress with drilling but recent rains have returned most fields to “saturated” status. Drilling of winter crops is probably somewhere between 50% and 75% complete.
Drillings have not been helped by erratic, erroneous and rapidly changing weather forcasting. The Met Office continue to claim a high degree of accuracy with their forcasts. My question to them would be which ones? On numerous occassions we have been given a forcast of dry 24 hours ahead which 6 hours ahead has changed to rain. This at best only gives a 50% accuracy, but I suspect from the Met Office’s point of view that the 6 hour forcast will count as being accurate as it was the last one given for the time frame in question.
Farmers on the other hand require more accurate forcasting further ahead than this and have been badly let down in this respect. The other noticeable trend this year has been for the various forcasting organisations to give completely different forcasts to each other. How can this be when they are making these forcasts using the same data set? Is it incompetence or commercial expediency?