Allan Chambers prepares winter barley harvest

Some winter barley has been harvested locally yielding more than 8t/ha.

If the weather forecast is accurate our own will be in the barn shortly. Winter barley has many advantages for growers – it can assist with rotation and harvest spread and it there is strong straw demand here. But the major gain is the ability to establish a forage rape or stubble turnip crop in late July, which will produce a dry matter yield and economic return. Such crops find a ready market with lamb finishers, and the fertility left behind is a bonus.

I used to hand rogue wild oats all day, but it’s mornings only now. The hills have got steeper and the legs weaker, but this job gives a good assessment of crops and lessons on improving future husbandry. Also, applying Othello (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron + diflufenican) for winter wheat weed control has reduced our wild oat population by around 80%.

Recent articles in Farmers Weekly on the active farmer debate were interesting. The Tenant Farmers Association is correct – activity in farming means risk taking. A flow chart to confirm risk with basic food production could be used to guide and confirm honest applicants. Dishonest applicants claiming SFP’s who on inspection cannot exhibit that they fit the activity criteria should be banned for life from receiving EU funding.

The end of June marked a happy family occasion – the marriage of our daughter Joanne. The reception at home in beautiful weather was a great success. However, it’s good to have the sheds back to their former oily glory.

Mistake of the month: Will have to grovel to the trailer manufacturing farming neighbour, who I had a jibe at in my last article. His maize weed control is perfect, whereas mine is poor. I must find out his chemical choice. Will he tell me?

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