Farmer Focus: Liming, spreading muck and drilling OSR

Harvest is in full swing, but it is quite a different affair to last year, with opportunism being be the key word so far.

This was our second earliest harvest starting winter barley on 17 July. We have bagged 300t of feed winter barley, which has been treated with urea.

See also: Why wheat drill dates should be delayed this autumn

About the author

Annabel Hamilton
Annabel Hamilton farms 1,100ha of arable in the Scottish Borders with her parents. The arable area grows 65% winter and 35% spring crops. She is Basis and Facts qualified and runs a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. The farm finishes more than 300 Limousin cattle a year.  Follow Annabel on Twitter @annabelhami11
Read more articles by Annabel Hamilton

This enhances the nutritional value of the grain and improves animal performance.

We are taking a basic product (feed barley) and turning it into a high-quality end product – the cattle.

We are still selling at least four cattle a week at the live market, which keeps in with our theme of selling 52 weeks of the year.

My days are rather varied at the moment. We take on four extra members of staff at harvest, which allows me time to organise the next round of cropping, as well as jumping on the odd tractor, loading lorries and operating the grain dryer when wheat harvest begins.

As the combines roll, we can get drainage repairs ticked off the list, as well as applying lime where it is needed, especially before oilseed rape.

Muck has begun to be applied and land is being cultivated as we will begin to drill oilseed rape come mid-August.

In our area we have very little flea beetle pressure, but clubroot can be our biggest yield robber.

Our acidic soils and a history of brassicas in the rotation means that, in some fields, growing a clubroot-resistant variety is a must.

Anarion has yielded well this harvest and is our clubroot-resistant variety of choice.

We welcomed the Mixed Farmer of the Year judges to Bee Edge at the beginning of August on what was one of the dreichest days of the year.

Despite that, we had a great day and enjoyed meeting the three judges, who we hope enjoyed the time they spent with us.

I am still not sure who nominated us for this award, but thank you whoever you may be.

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