Farmer Focus Arable: Edward Tupper gets election fever

All the Tipple spring barley was drilled and rolled into good seed-beds.

Second wheat crops had a light Cambridge roll and look much better for it. It was surprising just how much frost lift we had this winter compared with previous years.

Grass growth continues to be slow, but has changed from a very pale yellow to a growing green at last. Soil nitrogen tests have revealed what I had suspected, that they are lower than normal, so total N on all crops will need to be adjusted, accordingly.

The last few loads of malting barley have left the farm, resulting in a final yield of around 7.4t/ha. This is what I was hoping to achieve after changing varieties last year. Let’s hope that this year’s price is somewhat different than what is on offer at the moment.

Oilseed rape is awaiting its green bud fungicide and its second dose of nitrogen. This crop’s hardiness and ability to come back from certain death still amazes me, as it is racing through its growth stages.

It’s not long before the general election and politicians from all the parties will be asking for our vote. Will there be any mention of the countryside and even farming in any of their manifestos? What will be their vision for the rural community during the next government? Will any of them really want to tackle important issues head on like bovine TB?

I fear not, so can the agricultural press step up a gear and join its daily written comrades to show its colour and get behind the party that can move this country forward.

If you need a tip, I believe Basildon is nice at this time of year.

• For more columns from Edward Tupper

• For more columns from other Arable Farmer Focus writers

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