Well where do I start, very different land, new people to meet, a change of machinery, but similar challenges – amazing what a couple of hundred miles can do.
The first question, is it always this dry over here? What a year to move to a light land farm. Thank goodness for the irrigation reservoir.
That wasn’t quite what I said on Good Friday morning when I heard the words “the reservoir is leaking”. But after my heart rate had trebled and missed a few beats I realised this was not the case, but a major pipe had split and seeing all of that very valuable water running down the road in such a drought was slightly concerning. Fortunately, due to prompt action and an excellent service from Miles Waterscapes, downtime was minimised and the system was up and running again by the Sunday morning.
As well as the root crops, oilseed rape at Euston looks exceptionally well, this would appear not to be the case across the country. At Crichel one, thankfully small, field has a very poor pod set and almost looks a complete failure – is this relatively rare or are we looking at a late 1980s Moulin wheat effect?
I hope that everyone is watching how the gap in old and new crop wheat prices is narrowing, and wonder if the week of this year’s Cereals event will be as exciting in terms of cereal price fluctuations as it has been on one or two previous occasions. And will they let us know how much we are going to be charged for fertilisers before that event or will they wait until the day to spoil it for us all? No matter, excitement about the event is already building here.
Andrew Blenkiron manages the 4,400ha Euston Estate, south of Thetford. Principle farm enterprises are combinable and root crops, including sugar beet. In addition the estate supports let land, sheep, outdoor pigs, poultry, suckler cows, horses and stewardship.