Farmer Focus: Drill demo sparks competition between dealers

What a difference a year makes. After what we endured 12 months ago with a cold and late spring, this one seems almost perfect.

Some dry spells for land work, interspersed with showers, seem to be making for ideal conditions so far.

Our clifftop land following grazed stubble turnips came down to a decent seedbed following one pass through with the Lemken Karat.

See also: 3 factors to consider when grazing cover crops with sheep

Since I made the investment in the Lemken, this has certainly reduced our cultivation requirements and the time taken, which was, after all, the whole point.

Rivalry

We then used the opportunity of drilling spring barley to demo a wider drill.

Currently we run a 4m outfit but increased workload means that I need to consider going wider.

As inevitably happens on these occasions, someone put a picture on to Twitter.

Such is the power of social media that within no time at all I had received a call from my favourite super-enthusiastic machinery rep who works for a rival dealer, who I assume had not met his sales targets for the month, offering his wares.

Our spring barley will be all KWS Planet again this year. Our land does often allow us to achieve a malting sample. However, our location, distance from maltings and other complications such as storage generally mean that it goes as a feed sample.

Nonetheless, we find that KWS Planet delivers consistent results on our land without having to worry about nitrogen levels.

With spring drilling out of the way, potato planting is now a priority. So far we have made good steady progress.

The earliest planted are out of the ground, but with a few frosty nights still lurking even in our part of the world the plants are not entirely safe.

I am not growing one of my usual early varieties this time around as I wasn’t prepared to pay the price asked for the seed.

I have used a combination of some early planting plus some chitted seed to hopefully give us the crop we need at the time we need.

At present it looks like we will be on track to start lifting around early July, but there is lot that can happen between now and then.

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