Farmer Focus: Rain, rain go away, says Edward Tupper

Rain, rain, go away, come back another day.

In between the heavy showers of last month we managed to get all the spring barley drilled and mostly rolled.

Some April heavy rolling will be required on some fields to push the flints back down so they don’t get eaten by our new combine. I feel this will be a priority as soon as the barley and ground can take it.

Fertiliser applications are nearly up together, but with the ever-increasing cost, dare I cut back and keep some for next year? It is frightening to look inside a shed and realise how much money is tied up in plastic bags.

Atlantis (iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium + mesosulfuron-methyl) has been applied to bad blackgrass areas and thoughts will soon turn to spring barley herbicide choice. This could well depend on April’s weather.

Grass growth is slow, so the cows are still inside. We may not have much choice soon but to let them out during the day, as straw supplies are tight. Let’s hope for some warmer days and nights.

April Fool’s Day dished out its usual set of practical jokes. One thing I am not finding funny is the pigeons’ ability to sit on top of the flags in the oilseed rape and stick two fingers up at me while I spray it at green bud stage. They then flutter down for yet another snack.

In one particular field there are so many gas bangers, to try to deter them, that during the day it sounds like an American air raid in Iraq in other words, a complete waste of time.

For those of you who didn’t like my comments on the rugby, don’t panic. The cricket season starts this month and, yes, we play New Zealand again. Easy, easy!

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