Rain at last – 26mm over the weekend. Just in the nick of time. Crops have responded almost immediately, but I fear too late for the light land wheat, which has lost tillers and is now in ear.
We will continue with my planned fertiliser and spray programme and to that end we have just applied the last application of nitrogen to the wheat and we are now progressing through our flag leaf sprays. For the rape, we have also applied some late foliar nitrogen to the pods with a second sclerotinia spray to preserve yield.
The Environment Agency had stopped us extracting water from the river due to low flow and so our reservoirs are going down fairly quickly. With the rain comes a week’s respite from irrigation, but for how long?
With the single farm payment form handed in, it’s time to turn the attention to the assurance scheme inspections. We are members of Assured Combinable Crops, Assured Produce, Assured Beef and Lamb and finally LEAF Marque. These all used to be done on separate visits, but we have managed to do them all on one day by one inspector, which cuts out a massive amount of repetition and is no longer a daunting prospect.
I am not a technophobe and quite happily experiment with new technology and gadgetry. It was great to see the recent Farmers Weekly article (p48, 29 April) on the value of new smartphone arable apps, but I feel there is one area often overlooked with these new smart phones. Will it make and receive phone calls? I have had various makes of smartphone for the last three years, and while it’s great to receive emails when you are unbunging the combine, I’d rather not run up my phone bill replying to all the voicemail messages because the phone had no reception. Can someone compile a list of smartphones in order of reception quality please?
Jon Parker manages 1,500ha, near Stratford-on Avon, Warwickshire, on a medium to heavy land, for Ragley Home Farms, predominantly arable growing wheat, oilseed rape, and salad onions. There is also a beef fattening unit and sheep flock.