Rain boosts crop potential for Allan Chambers

Recently, along with about 40 local farmers, we walked through the fungicide trial plots in our winter barley and weed control trial plots in our neighbour’s barley. The walk was funded and organised by UAP.

To get to my barley trial plots, the organisers had to strim a pathway. But there was no need to do this to my neighbour’s, as his were a bit thinner.

Disease levels were low across the board, so only yield will show the benefits of the new fungal chemistry. The eye could spot the best weed killers. The tank-mix of hog roast, apple chutney and bread roll was thoroughly enjoyed and caused no scorching.

Crops are filling well over here and harvest prospects have improved, in my view, from average to above average. A well-known and respected cereals expert on the field walk predicted my volume winter barley would hit 10t/ha. I reckon it will be 8.5t/ha, but we will know in four weeks.

Grass regrowth has really responded to the rain after our easiest ever first-cut haylage harvest. It was mowed dry and only tossed out once, instead of the usual three or four times. Surprisingly, yields were only down by 2% on last year. The outstanding crop at the moment is linseed, which is in full flower.

With trial production of malt underway, the Ulster Arable Society trip to Stranraer in Scotland on 6 July to visit farms and a whisky distillery will be even more interesting.

Mistake of the month: I spent £2,000 on an effluent tank to collect non-existent effluent from a broiler litter midden. I must comply with the regulations to secure my single farm payment. Very daft.







Farmer Focus Arable:Allan Chambers



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