Farmers capitalise on dry weather as the drills come out

A dry, mild winter has resulted in ideal conditions for drilling on some soils and arable farmers are not wasting the opportunity get their beans and barley in the ground as well as some early fertiliser.

Yesterday (21 February) saw the warmest February day ever in Scotland with a temperature of 18.3C in Aberdeenshire.

It is a far cry from last year when drills were still locked firmly in the shed as the Beast from the East arrived on this day (22 February) last year.

See also: A round-up of enhanced urea fertilisers and additives

Agronomist Eddie Pissarro who looks after crops Essex/Suffolk can’t believe it is February, given the dry conditions.


Likewise, Phil Burrell says it is “almost unreal conditions for spring barley drilling on marsh land in February”.

Spring barley drilling is also underway for Michael Balls in Suffolk who is hoping for a kind March.


David Walston is applying liquid fertiliser to spring barley in Cambridgeshire that is looking great in the sun (if you ignore the hare coursing tracks).

Somerset farmer Richard Payne is drilling beans and says they are sitting in a lovely crumb 3in down, following cover crop grazed off by sheep.

Further north near Stokesley, North Yorkshire, beans are being variably drilled into perfect seed-beds.

Over in Wiltshire, Roger Wilson is applying the first split of nitrogen to his winter barley.

And finally, the mild weather brings the inevitable fog and autosteer is proving to be valuable for James Alexander drilling spring barley in Oxfordshire while being unable to see the other end of the field.

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