Arable Farmer Focus

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Where has the winter gone?

Last month I wrote that the weather had come in wet after a prolonged dry spell. Well, that week of wet was about it for our winter. The ground is…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Dry spell needed for harvest to start

What a strange climate we live and try to farm in. In previous pieces this year I was concerned about drought. Cereals were standing still and potato farmers were irrigating.…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Cover crops key to manage weather extremes

It is winter in South Africa, and a cold one at that. Winter is our dry season, so not much grows now – it is either too cold or too…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Winter barley yields fall, but wheat is average

The winter barley report card is in. Much as expected, there's not a lot of grain or straw, and yields are 30% down on our five-year average. The cost of…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Over the moon with autosteer on the combine

Harvest is here again, and I think for many of us we will be glad to get it out of the way and start again. As farmers/growers I think we…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Wearing 'tangoed' t-shirts for a safe harvest

Harvest started a few days earlier than normal, with Craft winter barley cut on the 6/7 July. I am pleased with performance and the full malting spec was a promising…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Do visitors realise the history they walk on?

Although harvest started a while ago, having taken two cuts of grass so far, winter barley should just be getting cut as you read this. The timing for this year’s…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Get ready to play OSR bingo again this summer

Our harvest campaign has kicked off with six-row Kingsbarn feed winter barley. So far yields and quality seem respectable and above expectations although we have had some difficulty fully de-awning…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Adding trees to the organic cropping system

So, we had our June splash, over 80mm in fact which means that our under-sown leys are looking good in the bottom of our spring barley and oats. However, it…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Colouring useful for stewardship applications

Like some of you, I am sure I’ve been colouring in maps this last week as we apply for countryside stewardship. I can still hear those words of encouragement from…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Spring barley at risk of ramularia

I guess it was inevitable that once silage was planned, it would rain nearly every day.  Although this interrupted our silage making for five days, it has been a good…

ARABLE

Farmer Focus: Extra spring crops limits storage space

As harvest approaches, we have the tricky problem of working out where we are going to store our crops. Sadly, it’s not a problem because of anticipated large yields, but…

More articles