Arable Farmer Focus

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Rain for 18 days – sadly, a familiar feeling

A few days on the stunning Scottish island of Islay was the perfect pre-drilling break, even though I lost more golf balls on the very tricky links course than I…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Juggling sheep, drilling and veg harvest

We are busy planting autumn cereals, although perhaps a little behind where I would want to be. The delay has been weather-induced, something I consider to be nature’s intervention to…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: OSR looks promising but threatened by pigeons

I like a challenge, as I’m sure most people do, but 2020 is far too generous in giving them out. I’m now entering the fourth autumn of my tenancy here…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The irrigators are on already

For us here at Valetta, the entire autumn and winter lamb finishing programme comes together in the space of about six weeks. Lambs come off green feed winter crops, go…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: My name is Andrew and I'm an early driller

“My name is Andrew, and I'm an early driller” wrote a Kent farmer friend recently in a parody of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. So should I be pleased or embarrassed…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Still haven't started winter wheat drilling

What a time to commence this column in such an uncertain, unpredictable period for agriculture. We farm on an area of sandy clay loam with high stone content and high…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Overwintered wheat seed passes test

Harvest was completed in mid-September. By the time we had got to the spring oats and spring barley, we had an awful lot on the floor. We estimated we have…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Only 25% drilled despite being on light land

So much for the optimism that I expressed last month. The end of September passed by and despite the best intentions and considerable efforts, we only managed to have 25%…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Autumn drilling done bar one blackgrass field

What a difference a year makes. Last year we had 10 days of autumn planting spread over five months, from late September to early February. This year, we have made…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Harvest over - now we can focus on drilling

The main cereal harvest finally concluded on 8 September after some much-needed settled weather. We then had a mini harvest break of 10 days while we waited patiently for our…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Leave farmers to decide what seed and how much

Our cereal harvest was finally finished in mid-September, which is late even for us northerners. Wheat came in fairly well in the end, but the flat spring barley had shed…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Huge 90% of crops had to be dried this season

Harvest finished on 21 September. It was without doubt a career low in terms of yield. There has been no fun in driving the combine this year at all. A…

More articles