Farmer Focus Arable: Richard Beachell has crop protection plan in place

Agronomist meetings with manufacturers and The Arable Group (TAG) seminars have enabled me to plan my crop protection programme for the forthcoming season. And thanks to preferential delayed payment terms through our buying group, Woldmarsh, products have been arriving on farm and the agchem store is now stocked for most of these treatments.

First nitrogen applications have started to green up the purple looking crops coming out of winter. This will be the first time that these varieties have been really tested for winter hardiness, being subject to the lowest temperatures for as long a sustained period as we have seen for many years.

The Cha Cha spring barley has been sown into ideal seed-beds with our KRM power harrow drill combination going straight onto overwintered and extremely well weathered ploughing. On this land, it really is the most efficient way to establish crops. TAG have drilled double the area of spring barley plots on the farm this year which is a bit of an anomaly as I suspect that, with the disastrous prices, the national area will be well down.

The 2010 winter barley crop has now been marketed at a price that will leave barely a margin. We shall delay the main nitrogen dose in an attempt to boost output as a malting sample is not worth the sacrifice in yield.

Like Phil Brown, our former manager at Hull City, I have been asked to take “gardening leave” so may I wish my successor the very best in keeping readers fully informed, in this column. As farmers, we can’t help but get bogged down by all the politics, rules and regulations which seem to get in the way. But sat on a tractor seat doing field work on a beautiful spring morning, it clearly ain’t all bad.

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