Sussex farm makes earliest haylage start, after late spring drilling

A farm in Sussex has seen its earliest ever start to a haylage season this year, following the latest finish to spring drilling.

AR Peters & Son, based 15 miles south-west of Lewes, farm a total of 900ha, growing wheat, barley, oats and ryegrass, also running a suckler herd and rearing beef cattle.

Plashett Park Farm got the mower into action on 14 May, 10 days earlier than previous years, setting a farm record.

Haylage is cut on a Sussex farm

Farmer, Mark Peters, explained he was left shocked just how early the managed to get the haylage season under way, with fields yielding so far 12 square bales/acre.

See also: Direct drilling is within reach for one organic grower

“I was very surprised. Obviously, this year has been a very difficult one for farmers so far. Following that late spring, there was nothing at all here for haylage, but everything just shot away during that first week of hot weather,” he said.

Mr Peters was one of the many farmers who was left frustrated by the soggy start to 2018, explaining their spring drilling season took almost two months from start to finish.

“We started in the first week of March, usually we’d easily be finished by mid-April, but our last field was drilled this year on 28 April. That’s our latest finish on record,” he added.

Despite acknowledging that crops across the country are looking in far better condition now, following the recent improvement in weather, Mr Peters admitted he is definitely expecting to see yield losses in spring crops.

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