Farmer Focus: Martin Lawrenson frustrated by bad weather

I was once told: “Patience is a virtue, seldom found in men and never in women.” Well, I’m starting to run out of it.

February was relatively dry. But going into March we have been getting heavy showers, which have prevented us from getting any land work done, let alone sow anything.

Although frustrating, it has allowed us to get on with drain jetting and maintenance. On our peaty land jetting is a yearly job often neglected when we are busy.

Standing in a dyke bottom getting cold and wet is not exactly fun. But there is a sense of satisfaction from walking along the ditches and hearing drains running and seeing wet patches in fields drying out.

We still have a problem with moss stocks, or bog oaks as they are sometimes known, coming to the surface and causing drains to collapse. Not to mention nearly sending you through the tractor windscreen when you hit one with the subsoiler.

Potato sales have been slow since Christmas. The past couple of loads of Nadine went in February.

Ideally, we would have been selling in April, but we missed getting them sprayed with Fazor (maleic hydrazide) in the summer due to the weather. As a result sprouting was beginning to affect quality and we had to sell earlier.

The good news is that potato planting has begun. Well, one row in the greenhouse anyway.

Planning has finally gone in on our proposed wind farm. We are applying for permission to erect two turbines of 2MW each.

Local opinion has been divided on the proposals, although I think the scheme has been generally well received by other farmers in the area. Wind is certainly a plentiful resource around here, with a strong westerly blowing off the Irish Sea as I write.