Farmer Focus: Good crops, good weather – and webinar woe

The sun is shining and the wind is blowing. It’s finally beginning to feel like spring. I can now walk around the farm without getting stuck and I have to say I’m relatively pleased with how things look.

Hybrid barley will be the first to get some nitrogen, although it’s carrying too many tillers at the moment so there’s no rush.

Wheats look well, with September-drilled looking best. A couple of October-drilled fields that didn’t get a pre-emergence herbicide are going to be written off as there is just too much blackgrass.

See also: Cultivation trial shows min-till success on heavy clay soils

To keep the farm clean we have got to keep up with a zero tolerance policy on blackgrass, but this feels very difficult when you have to spray off a perfectly good field of wheat.

Winter beans look fantastic and for the third time drilling them early into a dry seed-bed looks to have paid off.

We have the perfect population at the right growth stage and drilled them when the drill would have been otherwise stood.

A deal was done at the end of last year to swap from our five-year-old Challenger self-propelled sprayer to Fendt trailed sprayers and I believe delivery is imminent.

This is quite a big step for us with the farm having run self-propelled sprayers for nearly 50 years.

However, on paper it’s exactly the right thing to do. We can now fully utilise the capital in the tractors we already own and reduce the capital tied up in spraying equipment and double our capacity.

I just hope they travel as well.

It was great to watch on television as Boris Johnson laid out his roadmap out of lockdown.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m completely fed up with webinars, Zoom meetings, Reams meetings, blue jeans meetings and every other type of web-based virtual attendances.

I for one can’t wait to attend a proper meeting again face-to-face with other farmers and friends – and to enjoy a full English breakfast courtesy of whoever is trying to sell me their services.

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