February is always a busy month for conferences and meetings on various topics – there’s plenty of choice for where to go to get the all-important Basis points and learn something new.
The NFU conference was once again a fantastic couple of days, with many interesting speakers and a lot of promises from Michael Gove – I find it amazing how someone can talk for an hour and a half and actually say very little.
The recent weather has been great for completing spring work – the first application of nitrogen was completed early February and any missed areas were clear to see shortly after, proving going early was the right decision.
The spring wheat has all been drilled into excellent seed-beds, half direct into a cover crop and half into a cultivated seed-bed with the Dale drill putting DAP fertiliser on at the same time.
The winter wheat looks very good at the moment and the attention will now be on monitoring for disease and the weather forecast to see if a T0 is necessary.
Part of me wants to cut out T0 on some varieties but with the weather as it is, the other part of me is saying I need to do it as an insurance in case the weather breaks and T1 timings become hard to hit.
Pigeons not a problem
Having no oilseed rape this year it has been nice to not have to worry about pigeons all winter and then about whether to take the crop to harvest or pull it up and re-drill it.
Despite all the different agronomy meetings I’ve been to this winter that have discussed OSR I’m still none the wiser to whether I should try it again this year or not, or what a sensible alternative could be.
The other Sunday I was impressed with the service from UK Power Networks. While drilling I noticed a power line that crosses one of the farm tracks looked low when passing underneath with the drill folded up.
I reported it to them and within an hour there was an engineer on site to inspect and measure it, luckily there were no issues and it looked lower than it was.
Matt Redman operates a contracting business specialising in spraying, Avadex application and direct drilling in Bedfordshire. He also grows cereals on tenancy land and was 2014 Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year.