This week has been the first dry spell for months, and some growers on free-draining land are out cultivating while others are drilling barley, sugar beet and beans.
For some drills, it’s the first action since last September, and conditions are a little mixed with some soft spots. But with a huge backlog of work, farmer are cracking on.
Some potato farmers are in action too, with both planting and lifting happening. Here are a few highlights from across the UK.
Tom Hawthorne’s Kverneland drill was out yesterday in what he called “Tine drill Tuesday” in Nottinghamshire.
Tine Drill Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/WO2qDkG4wK
— Tom Hawthorne (@flawborough_fms) March 17, 2020
In Oxfordshire, Samuel Clarke is cultivating ground in preparation for drilling spring barley.
— Samuel Clarke (@farmersamclarke) March 17, 2020
Further north in Leicestershire, Nick Wilson is drilling spring barley into a failed crop of oilseed rape with a Mzuri.
Spring barley into failed rape. Not going too badly… pic.twitter.com/0Iu3ATyZBN
— Nick Wilson (@Nick_Wilson3) March 17, 2020
And in Norfolk, Tim Barrell is creating a bit of dust with his Horsch drilling in surprisingly dry conditions.
— Tim barrell (@barrell_tim) March 17, 2020
Sugar beet drilling
In mid-Norfolk, sugar beet drilling has kicked off for Mark Frary going into freshly prepared seed-beds.
So today we have the first lot of #Sugarbeet going into a freshly prepared seed bed yesterday. Seed placement into moisture so it’s up to Mother Nature now ?. @waddledogie @clubhectare2211 pic.twitter.com/XuhDRbMp6G
— Mark Frary????????? (@FraryMark) March 17, 2020
James Thompson is also drilling beet, adding that Beeswax Dyson Farming is still lifting the 2019 crop.
— James Thompson (@farmerThomo) March 17, 2020
For Lincolnshire farmer Peter Cartwright, it is the first time his low-disturbance Horsch Sprinter drill has been out since September. Here he is drilling beans at Revesby Farms.
Good to be getting some seeds in the ground. 1st time out for this rig since September. Bit sticky but good to be getting some beans in the ground. Low disturbance thanks to @BourgaultVos 2” coulter helping. pic.twitter.com/ep1XtBvf6p
— Peter Cartwright (@RevesbyFarms) March 17, 2020
Tom Sewell is also drilling beans in Kent, picking the drier spots and going across the slope.
— Tom Sewell (@tandssewell) March 18, 2020
Stick or twist with winter barley
It’s not just drilling, farmers and agronomists are out crop walking. In his video, Merseyside grower Olly Harrison is considering whether to stick with this crop of winter barley or do a bit of a repair job and stitch in some spring barley.
Winter barley stick with it right it off or stitch spring into it ? ?♂️ pic.twitter.com/8xMv400SKb
— Olly harrison ?????#soilsaver (@agricontract) March 17, 2020
Potato planting and lifting
In East Suffolk, Capel St Andrew Farms is planting potatoes, which will be ready for lifting in June.
Today we are continuing to #plant #potatoes to #harvest in June. No buying #limits when these bad boys are ready! #buyBritish #SupportYourFarmers #KeepOnFarming #coronavirus #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/dIOmyxzTtA
— Capel St Andrew Farm (@CapelStAndrewFm) March 18, 2020
Meanwhile, in south Lincolnshire the potato harvest continues at Worth Farms having been severely hampered by the winter deluge. Simon Day shares a video of the farm’s two-row Grimme self-propelled harvester.
— Simon Day (@sje_day) March 17, 2020