Keith Challen wonders where the pigeons are

I only made two resolutions for 2012 – to lose a few pounds and to exercise more. It’s only the fourth week of January and I’ve broken both.

I’ve just returned home from the first day at LAMMA, my feet ache and I’m laden down with glossy brochures of fancy new machines we don’t need. I’m pleased to report I’ve found lots of innovation, including microwave moisture meters for the dryer, blockage sensors for sprayer nozzles and a left-handed broom for me, although it didn’t come with instructions. Once again the organisers are to be commended on a brilliant show, breakfast in the stockman’s was first class and when I left at 7pm we sailed straight out.

We finally finished putting the Kerb (propyzamide) on the oilseed rape last week in near perfect conditions. Our Rogator sprayer still impresses me – for all its bulk and size it tiptoes across our heavy clay soils leaving barely a mark. Big rolling radius tyres are definitely the way forward and thank goodness for GPS – how did we ever navigate across fields without tramlines?

The mild weather has been kind to our wheat and with above average temperatures and an average amount of rainfall it’s starting to look good. Galant milling wheat is the most advanced as you would expect with the Oakley coming on nicely.

With the game shooting season coming to an end, my mind now turns to pigeons – famous last words, I know, but we haven’t seen any. I usually like a few days culling the pesky blighters just before laying the dogs off, but they are nowhere to be seen. Millie has decided after destroying and eating a feather-filled cushion in my office that actually she now doesn’t like the taste of feathers and anything feathered should be avoided. Oh the joy of gun-dog puppies.

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