Farmer Focus: Wheat has been drilled after sugar beet on the Cambridgeshire fens

I have been very opportunistic through February and when we have had an occasional few dry days, I have managed to get a block of wheat drilled nicely after sugar beet on fresh ploughed land, some winter ploughing progressed, and the odd tank of spraying done.

I realise how fortunate I am to be in the relatively well-drained Cambridgeshire fens, with mainly light to medium soils. Watching the news reports of the flooding in areas such as the Somerset Levels is distressing and I feel for all those affected.

It has been heartening to see our industry get together to support the farmers in these areas and I have been pleased to support George Munns, a fellow County farms tenant from Chatteris in sending down forage and feed as part of the organised relief effort.

With massive support from hauliers, farmers, merchants and others, George has sent down several loads of stock feed beet/potatoes/carrots and a few loads of straw from the fens. This and the similar efforts from around the country is a fantastic effort, and one that will need to be sustained.

Incredibly it is just over six years since my first Farmer Focus article appeared in January 2008. After around 72 articles it is now time to move over and let someone else have a turn.

I have enjoyed my writing here, and the feedback has been appreciated, both by email and in person. It has been great to get so many compliments on the articles, and the opportunities that have arisen indirectly have been very welcome.

I must thank my wife Jayne for proof-reading on a monthly basis and for the occasional injection of tact when I am tackling a thorny subject. I am also grateful to my farming colleague, Andrew Jacobs, who occasionally has had to confirm yields noted and other issues from the articles for a small minority of readers.

I hope to still be occasionally writing in the future, and I have recently started to use Twitter, so feel free to find me there. Thanks for reading, and all the best to everyone for the future.

Philip Bradshaw grows cereals, sugar beet and potatoes on 300ha of fenland and other soil types at Flegcroft Farm, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire.

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