Never ever has our land been so wet for so long. Heavy rain continues almost every day and crops in the ground are suffering. Yields for 2013 are already down by at least 10% due to flooded out areas, and the best potential payer, first wheat, remains unsown in the shed.
With established customers for both wheat and wheat straw, we have decided to bite the bullet and order spring wheat seed to cover these fields, expensive though it is.
We recently met up with Tom McDonnell, an arable farmer from the Republic of Ireland, who has been treating all his grain with Maxammon, a urea-based preservative, and selling it on to local cattle farmers.
This product can increase the protein content of moist grain and also negate the acidosis problems associated with heavy feeding. I followed this up with a visit to a local beef finisher who has been using it for six months.
He is confident that his cattle are thriving extremely well, and he will be using this product again. With that in mind we will probably be treating all our wheat that way next harvest.
I recently spent a day at the Ulster Grassland Societies annual conference. There is, without doubt, a huge potential to increase the production from grass in the island of Ireland.
With arable crop yields peaking and even going back in recent years, I need to keep up with modern thinking on all things grassland, just in case these weather patterns are here to stay.
There is no point sitting at home cursing the weather when there is information available which just might be for the long-term benefit of my business.
Mistake of the month: Signed up for a local, four-session, one-night-a-week computer literacy class. With my skill levels I should have enrolled for the one-day-a-week option lasting until the end of the summer term.