Farmer Focus Arable: Neil Thomson sows seeds of discontent

It took only a couple of days to change from deepest winter to spring, catching me by surprise.

There seemed no hope of getting anywhere near the land until April – then suddenly a window to get the beans sown in the second week of March. We would have continued sowing barley, but for one very important ingredient – seed.

Somehow or other I hadn’t confirmed my choice of Publican, Concerto and Tipple to the seed merchant. I didn’t think there would be a problem, one phone call and bingo, the seed would be here. Wrong! Instead, I had a frustrating weekend watching the neighbours forging ahead.

At least we were able to have the satisfaction of being able to watch Scotland beat Ireland at rugby. The end of the Six Nations always marks the start of a busy period and I always lament it because it seems that the next few months will be spent at the controls of the sprayer.

The thought of this is increasingly less appealing as I get older, although the replacement for the old Cleanacres Atlas – a Househam – has a radio that works. This is one of many pieces of frontline equipment, including the drill and combine, we have shared with another neighbour for five years now.

I think I speak for both of us when I say that the arrangement works very well. We can afford to run equipment that neither of us could justify on our own and we maximise their use.

We have decided to stick to the use of an Airtec sprayer, liking the features this system can deliver and reckon that on the second hand machine acquired we have got the system for free. You know the saying: “Once a Scotsman”

• Read more from Neil Thomson here.

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