Arable Farmer Focus

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: I think winter linseed is worth another go

Wow, that was different from last year’s slog. I am writing this on the first Sunday in August and I’m not at work. Incredible. Autumn crops are all done, a…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Will I regret waiting to cultivate soils?

The sooner we can get the next crop in the ground and put the 2018 crop behind us, the better. A career low was reached this year with our oilseed…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Ergot proves to be the Achilles' heel of rye

There has been a sharp contrast between the sands and chalks this harvest. At the Royston farm the crops on the chalks have still produced respectable results, while crops up…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Close call with crop fire and dual carriageway

Surely we will look back on harvest 2018 as one of the most relaxed ever. We have been able to start up the combine as early as 8am and cut…

ARABLE

Farmer Focus: Malting barley quality is spot on

It is impossible to write this without mentioning the weather. Over the last few weeks I have sat watching the crop potential evaporate in front my eyes. Then we received…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: 10,000 lambs to fatten this winter

Winter here at Valetta brings a big change in our focus from arable to livestock. We currently have 14 mobs of sheep strip-grazing kale and oat crops behind triple-wire electric…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: No right answer on desiccation this year

After being on holiday last year when the oilseed rape harvest started, I was determined not to be away again, so with a return date of 14 July I felt…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: OSR harvest was a dragged-out affair

My first OSR harvest is progressing well, although trying to combine oilseed rape when it wasn’t too dry meant a week of late nights or early mornings, rather than just…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Media more obsessed with weather than farmers?

Unusually, I find I can start this month’s piece in the same way as the last. It has been an absolutely amazing spell of weather; blazing heat and not a…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Irrigating kit being delivered by the lorry load

It is a very rare occurrence for Northern Ireland to announce a hosepipe ban and – I believe – be the first area of the UK to do so After…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Wheat crop blighted by a crop circle

This year will not be one that is quickly forgotten. The abnormal summer heatwave has switched crops off early, undoubtedly compromising yields, but compensated by favourable and rapid harvesting conditions.…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Over-regulated to the point of undersupply?

I’m guessing as you read this, the true cost of  “flaming June” and the continuing heatwave can already be seen in the grain shed. On the whole, our crops have…

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