Keith Challen tempted by farming apps for iPhone

There are pros and cons to farming some of the heaviest land in the country. One advantage is its ability to cope with drought. We have had about 8mm of rain in March and April combined – we normally average 88mm. However, both wheat and oilseed rape crops look well. But if they are to fulfil their potential, we need significant rainfall.

I have completed my single farm payment application, leaving my Assured Combinable Crops Scheme to finish. But I would take these any day compared with sitting my GCSEs. Emily, my eldest daughter, has revised relentlessly over Easter in preparation for what would be my worst nightmare. Thank goodness she has her mother’s brains. Anyone who thinks exams have softened should try a test paper.

Wheat crops received Enterprise (boscalid + epoxiconazole) fungicide and Optimus (trinexapac-ethyl) plus chlormequat growth regulator, along with some manganese at T1 last week. A spray miss at T0 showed high levels of yellow rust in some Oakley – good job it was only a small area.

A tank-mix of Amistar (azoxystrobin) and Filan (boscalid) was used as the first of two planned sclerotinia sprays, applied mid-April in near perfect spraying conditions. The ExPower looks incredible and I cannot wait to get the combine in. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be one of those “looks good, but nothing in it” varieties.

I will be 41 next week and feel it is time I got up to date with technology, so I am asking my family for donations towards an iPhone 4. I can’t believe the apps that are available – a tank-mix check and green area index tools (p48, 29 April Farmers Weekly), to name but a few. A friend told me I could even get an app to help me with my shooting, but I wasn’t aware I needed one.


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