Arable Farmer Focus

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Why I wish I hadn't drilled any oilseed rape

It felt like a mini milestone at Lockerley over the past week as we planted some clover/grass leys in our arable rotation and spread home-produced manure in front of a…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: A peek at my harvest diary from 1987

What a summer; at the time of writing (4 September) we still have 100ha of beans to harvest. High yields, laid crops and desperately frustrating weather have literally left us…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: £3bn farm support is good value for money

August was a month of two halves. The first half was very wet and left us panicking about the plight of our crops and then, to great relief, the second…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Sitona weevils are eating my clover

Unless something goes horribly wrong, by the time you read this, harvest 2019 will be finished at Shimpling Park Farm. Our combine has been incredibly reliable this year (touching all…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Stick together in fight against rural crime

Like for everyone else trying to earn a living from the land, it has been a busy summer, with minimal downtime. They say striving for success without hard work is…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Borage swathe is like cold treacle

Harvest continues with yields above budget, but quality has been a bit mixed. We had a go with some white wheat for a local miller to make a golden wholemeal…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: New combine delivers but subsoiler demo falls flat

The harvest weather has finally improved, with the unsettled weather of the first three weeks of August giving way to something more like summer. Unlike last year when our yields…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Serious storage fire hasn’t hampered harvest

Harvest has been proceeding at a pace. Yields look reasonably promising, although there are still too many heaps around the place to have final measured totals yet. We have a…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Rethinking our weed strategy this autumn

We were flying along with harvest, finishing the wheat about the earliest we ever have, and then the rain hit. We’ve only manged a few hours in the past 10…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Testing the waters with 26ha of hemp

We spend our winter here at Valetta shifting break fences for sheep on winter feed crops of kale, swedes and oats. Currently we have 14 to shift every morning, so…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: OSR area increasing despite flea beetle threat

Harvest is proving to be very stop-start. It started very well, but unreliable weather reports and very localised heavy showers whenever the wheat is almost dry have slowed progress. While…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Cover crops staying ahead of flea beetle

Cereal harvest results are now in. Winter barley produced a thin sample on the lightest of land, with an average yield. However, the six-row hybrid on some of our heavier…

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