Farmer Focus Arable: Martin Lawrenson has waterlogged fields

After what seems like a never-ending winter lasting since August the weather has at last turned drier.

We missed the snow here while the rest of the country seemed to have a fairly rough time, and since then the weather has been mainly dry but cloudy.

Despite that many of our fields are still very wet after being waterlogged for so long. I fear some of the potato land, which took a hammering during harvest, will take quite a while and a lot of work to get back into good shape.

We’ve managed to sow some wheat at last. After extracting the last of the potatoes from one of the drier fields we decided to risk some Alchemy on 23 Feb.

Although the HGCA list recommends sowing no later than mid-Feb I’m working on the theory that there’s sure to be a bit of leeway built in and that we can get a decent crop.

We’re also continuing with renewing our land drains. After several years of mending and cleaning we are now trying to replace some of our drainage systems every year.

I imagine that we are far from the only ones with land needing a bit of TLC.

After starting the first few drains our contractor reported that his phone had not stopped ringing with neighbours wanting a few drains putting in while they were in the area.

I’m pleased to note that there seems to have been a marked increase in the number of farming related programmes on television recently. Hopefully this may be due to a growing realisation of the importance of agriculture to this country.

After all people may be able to live without a new television or car in a recession, but I’m sure they wouldn’t last long without food on their tables.

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