Farmer Focus Arable: Allan Chambers gets rid of wild oats

Wild oats are classified in Northern Ireland as a noxious weed and by law must be controlled. This means that while some of our population celebrate mid-July by walking behind banners and bands, brother David and I walk tramlines pulling out the criminals.

It took two short (all we’re fit for) hot days to cover the home farm’s 200 acres. About 100 culprits were found – no more than 40 years ago.

Our other farm was wild oat free for which I credit February applied Othello herbicide. It did a super job on everything except cleavers.

With the weather stopping winter barley harvest and second cut haylage production, time has been spent checking, welding and painting bale and grain handling equipment.

The hectare of experimental millet, though drilled later than hoped, looks quite good. Soya UK, the seed supplier, sends regular bulletins and wins five gold stars for using plain English and commonsense in its approach to giving advice.

Shortly, Combines 4 Charity will try to break the world record for the largest number of combines working in one field. They can be found just north of Dublin on 15 August and I will be there.

I wish the organisers every success in their quest to enter the Guinness Book of Records and in achieving their target of raising a spectacular £200,000 on the day. I presume FW cameras will relay the spectacle of this fantastic event.

The website is In true Irish fashion their will be a hooley (party) the night before – and a hooley the night after.

Mistake of the month: Bought a spray gun to paint the old machinery, but thinned the paint too much. Had to buy three more tins to thicken it up and then paint for another week to get rid of it.

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