Farmer Focus: Allan Chambers’ potato production ends

Grand slam! What a great Irish performance. With two farmers in the front row you can’t go wrong. It’s only a question of how many of our 22 players will make the Lions.. I predict 19.


The weather’s been great allowing good progress with fieldwork. Spring barley, all Quench, was drilled into perfect seed-beds where I went as low as 75kg/ha on one small field as a trial.


Autumn-drilled wheat and barley have had their potash at varying rates, as per soil analysis, and 35kg/ha of N in the form of Sulpha N. These crops are just beginning to show signs of growth, but are still gappy, especially in the headlands after the wet autumn.


We’ve ceased potato production. David and I have decided that at our age we need a life along with our work and the spuds were very demanding. We still help our potato-growing tenants by spreading the broiler litter, ploughing it in, and doing some ground preparation.


Our forage maize area is slightly back on last year, but may increase in future, as enquiries are being made regarding a contact for its use in a biodigester power production unit.


The last 600t of wheat from our six-farmer-run grain drying and storage business has been sold at £118/t ex-shed. New harvest wheat appears strong at £128/t for August delivery, but we have never had the courage to sell forward. Maybe we should.


Mistake of the month: Highlighted the Draconian rules regarding the storage of broiler litter for this part of the UK at a recent UFU cereals meeting, in the hope of having a constructive, proactive debate on the issue. A prepared HQ statement was then read out and effectively killed any common sense proposals. There must be a black mark against my name.


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