Farmer Focus: T1 gamble may not pay off this year

For once, it looks like the eastern part of the country is experiencing wetter conditions than the West. I am sure, however, that as harvest gets closer normal service will be resumed.

The exceptionally warm weather during the first half of June has exploded everything into life, including septoria in the winter wheat, which means, unfortunately, the gamble at T1 may not come off this year.

In hindsight, a lower rate rather than a lesser product may have been a better approach this year, but time will tell.

About the author

Jack Hopkins
Arable Farmer Focus writer
Jack Hopkins is farm manager on a 730ha AHDB Monitor Farm in north Herefordshire on predominantly silty clay loam soils. Cropping includes wheat, barley, oilseed rape, spring oats and peas, plus grassland that supports a flock of 1,000 ewes and 25 pedigree Hereford cattle.
Read more articles by Jack Hopkins

The disease susceptibility of different varieties is always very interesting but when it’s on a home trial it always makes it relative.

Our AHDB Monitor Farm trial of a four-way wheat blend is providing some stark visuals.

See also: Graham and Extase tipped as wheats for the South West

In the untreated tramline, each variety can be identified by the type of disease it is showing susceptibility to. The Extase in the blend is still, at present, clean from top to bottom.

Our winter beans have tripled in size over the past month. They do not look the most consistent crop, as they struggled through the wet autumn, but they do seem to be setting pods to quite a depth.

Overall, the crops look set up well for harvest and with more sunshine hours in June than we have experienced over the past two years; this has got to be positive for grain fill.

More than 1,000 lambs have now left the farm at some quite extraordinary prices. Who would have predicted that eight months ago?

First cut silage was complete at the beginning of June and although we have got quantity, unfortunately we are not going to have the quality we were striving for.

Our Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship scheme ends in December, so we are currently applying for another scheme to expand our existing arrangement, rather than taking the option of mirroring our current one. If successful, this will allow us to carry out some additional capital works.

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