Spring is here - I think, says Mike Eagers from Trinlaymire Farm, Threemiletown just to the west of Edinburgh.
Up to now the weather has been showery and in generally cold with a recent east wind.
All the spring bean (Fuego) and barley (Optic and Oxbridge) sowings are complete, though only recently after very catchy progress between showers.
Seed-beds are good but still on the cold side.
Heros spring oilseed rape for industrial use is being sown as I write. I want to ensure rapid emergence in warm temperatures.
Fertilising on winter crops is well on the way to completion with the last dressing for wheat nearly done.
Winter barley and rape are wrapped up with 175kg/ha and 190kg/ha of N respectively.
Spring barley was sown with a 10:15:21 compound.
Winter barley and forward wheats have received T0 spray applications.
The barley had Kayak (cyprodinil) against rhyncho and net blotch plus manganese to guard against deficiency problems on our shale land.
The T1 which is imminent will be based upon Jaunt (fluoxastrobin + prothioconazole + trifloxystrobin).
Our winter wheat spray programme is categorized into bronze, silver and gold based on yield potential and exhibited varietal disease traits.
With rising temperatures and intermittent rain septoria is the main concern.
Wheats in the gold category, ie 9t/ha plus, have received a T0.
Silver and bronze have not had a T0 due in the main to low disease pressure.
The T0 was Ceando (metrafenone + epoxyconazole) + manganese + growth regulator.
The T1 will be the same product at a higher rate topped up with Joules (chlorothalonil) for the septoria pressure.
Oilseed rape has had a second fungicide for light leaf spot in the form of Monkey (prochloraz + tebuconazole) + boron.
Spring beans have received a pre-em - Nirvana (imazamox + pendimethalin).
The long awaited details of the Scotland Rural Development Programme have been published with a substantial menu of options which I am still trolling through with some help from FWAG and SAC.
Single Payment Scheme time is looming with two of six forms completed.
The improvements to the grain handling facilities have been agreed by the landlord and, pleasingly, much of the work can be done in-house.
Costs are rising with the most telling being diesel at 57p/litre. When I arrived in Scotland nearly 10 years ago, it was 9p/litre. This and the prospect of Grangemouth refinery going on strike and the resultant panic-buying in the central region focuses the mind.
It's a fragile world!
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