29 December 1995

Drilling areas 10% up on average

FURTHER evidence of the autumns excellent drilling and spraying conditions has emerged from a farmer survey conducted by agrochemical manufacturer Cyanamid.

The study shows growers exceeded their target winter cereal drilling areas by an average of over 10%. That makes the crop "almost certainly" the biggest since one-year set-aside was introduced four years ago, the company says.

By late-November only 1% of land ear-marked for winter cereals needed drilling, and most of that was following root crops.

Even more dramatic was the surge in autumn spraying – 21% up on the planned area. By late-November about 83% of the final target area had been sprayed, a fifth more than in 1994 when conditions were also favourable. &#42