DK Extravert has certainly bounced back

If you had told me at Christmas crops would look like they do in July I would have never believed you. Granted oilseed rape is average at best – I’m amazed we’ve got a crop to harvest at all in places.

Dr Chris Green mentioned last year at one of his meetings that DK Extravert had potential to bounce back in the spring – and boy has it. A recent tour round the farm with penatrometer and spade however was less pleasing. Although we couldn’t find any real issues with compaction, soil structure looks less than perfect. The one thing we need this year will be time and looking how late the crops are its likely to be the thing we have least of.

My recent trip to Cereals 2013 turned out to be quite an emotional event; catching up with old friends is always a laugh as we exchange harmless banter about each other’s receding hairline and expanding waistlines. What I wasn’t prepared for was the level of support offered to me regarding our recent bereavement. People’s generosity of words was extremely touching, and the offer of support for any future fundraising events was fantastic. However, what shocked me most was the half-dozen or more people who stopped me – most I didn’t know – who said they knew what we were going through, having suffered a similar tragedy. So thank you to everyone for your support.

On a lighter note, the new grain store is coming along nicely and with a bit of look should be ready on time – famous last words. And our new combine should land with Farmstar, our Case dealer, in the next couple of days ready for me to have a pre-season refresher. Now what did all those buttons do?

Millie celebrated her second birthday this week and in true Millie style she decided to celebrate by bringing a half grown live rat into the office and then let it go. After 30 minutes of much carnage and swearing the rat was dispatched. Thanks, Millie.

Keith Challen manages 800ha of heavy clay soils in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire, for Belvoir Fruit Farms. Cropping includes wheat, oilseed rape and elderflowers. The farm is also home to the Belvoir Fruit Farms drinks business

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