Farmer Focus: Crops race through growth stages

The concrete flooring is now down in the new grain store, which should give it plenty of time to completely dry out before harvest starts.

Along with this the weighbridge has been installed and now the “heaviest member of the farm staff” competition can begin.

It does now give us the facility to regularly check the accuracy of the combine yield meter as well as all grain out loadings. We are fitting a Sky Vac to our Opico drier this year in an attempt to reduce the amount of dust and chaff deposits.Our neighbours will be particularly pleased as their homes and gardens resembled a scene from the Wild West after last harvest.

Crops are now racing through their growth stages, especially the spring planted ones. With the spring wheat, no sooner was GS30 approaching then the flag leaf was out. The spring rape is variable ranging from five true leaves to green bud. The strong winds are just sapping the surface moisture.

With the present weather patterns spray application timings are being tested. One calm day is normally followed by five blustery ones, which has lead to more liquid fertiliser scorch than I would like.

On some of the better, more forward winter rape, pod set looks quite pleasing while the backward crops are only at the start of flowering.

The combine will be changing from crop to crop on a regular basis this harvest, which always pleases the driver and grain store operative.

I will have been to Cereals by the time this is in print and probably enjoyed it. My gripe is, and has always been, why can this show not move further west?

This is not a personal plea but there are many growers in the west who would attend Cereals if it managed to stray across the M1.

I know questionnaires were sent out last year looking for new venues but again Warwickshire was dismissed, despite some manufacturers also supporting a move.

If the CLA Game Fair can successfully attract 150,000 people over three days in Warwickshire, why can’t the Cereals event be successful over here too?

Jon Parker manages 1,500ha near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on a medium to heavy land for Ragley Home Farms, predominantly arable growing wheat, oilseed rape, and salad onions. There is also a beef-fattening unit and sheep flock

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