Farmer Focus Arable: Andrew Hunter considers selling up in Serbia

We have had incredibly wet weather over the last few weeks, with 140mm of rainfall in Hungary in four days. This has really knocked the crops back with the temperatures dropping to 6-7C.

All the post-emergence spraying is yet to do on the maize, which even though crop development is slow it is limiting our options due to the growth stage of the crop.

We had just started irrigating the potatoes when all the rain came, now the problem is getting onto the fields to put blight sprays on.

We have completed the spring drilling program apart from 9ha of maize for forage. The crops in the Ukraine are quite varied, with the winter oilseed rape being the most disappointing with nearly 60% winter kill. Crops that have survived are not looking as well as I’d have liked. It is very disappointing considering they went into the winter looking very good.

Much time has been spent recently on our area aid applications in Hungary, due to the new requirements for the environmental scheme we have had to measure all the fields using GPS to a maximum accuracy of 3m.

I have also been marketing our farm in Serbia with a view to selling up. I’ve been surprised by the level of interest garnered through the website which has attracted several viewings. It will be sad if we sell the farm, although hopefully, we can still remain involved in its running.

Another sad moment for me is that I am passing the baton as a Farmer Focus writer. I wish the next person all the best and hope they receive as many interesting comments as I have. It remains for me to wish everyone a successful harvest and to say that I am definitely optimistic about the future of our industry which has given me so many opportunities and allowed me to meet so many friendly faces.

• For more columns from other Arable Farmer Focus writers

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