Farmer Focus: Carrots, cultivations and clover crops

The carrots are harvested and look to be a bright spot on an otherwise very dull harvest, cultivations have gone well and with plenty of moisture, grass and clover crops are off to a flying start and winter feeds are booming along so it is time to look forward to the new season.

We planted oats after seed peas in mid-February and plan to silage them mid-April and hope for 5-6t/ha of dry matter, which is not a shabby result for an eight week crop.

These fields will all be planted in “Graham” feed wheat which we are trying for the first time, as will spud and carrots fields. We plan to follow on with “Starfire” (KWW46) in fields ex-grass seed.

See also: Read more from our arable Farmer Focus writers

However, before we get the tractors rolling, the hedge cutter is due and will trim all the shelter rows in fields that are between crops.

Coming to the UK

It would be fair to say none of us look forward to the mess he makes and we will be busy with the excavator and telehandler, both with grabs, for a fortnight cleaning up.

There is nothing like a deadline to focus one’s thoughts. Jayne and I are very excited to have been invited to a wedding in Scotland of one of our UK students who worked for us about ten years ago.

We have decided to bring our three sons with us and travel around England and Scotland and hope to see as many of our previous employees, now friends, as we can.

It has been one of the privileges of our business being able to employ such fine young men from your country over the years.

We are hoping to attend the first day of Cereals just prior to heading for home. We look forward to seeing some of your country for the first time, maybe my next column will have a travel snap!

But until then, I have got a lot of work to do, best crack on!


David Clark runs a 463ha fully irrigated mixed farm with his wife Jayne at Valetta, on the Canterbury Plains of New Zealand’s south island. He grows 400ha of cereals, pulses, forage and vegetable seed crops, runs 1,000 Romney breeding ewes and finishes 8,000 lambs annually.