With six months left of 2012, I’m starting to wonder how much further my good luck will go.
Since the start of the year I’ve been fortunate enough to set up my own business, buy my own self-propelled sprayer and, as of last weekend, get engaged so what’s next? Maybe a bumper harvest, good prices and perfect weather, or a lottery win so I can buy that farm in the back of the Farmers Weekly.
All of the T2s have been completed on time and the wheat is looking good; as the sprayer operator I liked the fact we kept it simple with Adexar across the whole farm, unlike our more complex T1 strategy earlier on.
Sticky traps have been put out for orange blossom midge. Only one of our three wheat varieties is resistant, so we will be keeping a close eye on the traps. As chlorpyrifos is the best active at controlling orange blossom midge, it is going to be important to stick to the “say no to drift” stewardship guidelines to reduce the chances of it being banned from use. Although it’s not the safest active, it’s a very important one for controlling a lot of pests in cereals and grassland and we’d be pretty stuck without it, as there are few alternatives.
The OSR has now finished flowering, and all potentially combine-damaging objects have been removed from the field. During flowering it received two sprays for sclerotinia. The first hay of the season has also been cut and baled in true hay-making weather – perfect hot sunshine for days, then a short, sharp thunder shower as soon as the baler arrives. Maybe my luck will extend to being able to get the rest of it in the shed in good quality.
Matt Redman operates an agricultural contracting business and helps out on the family farm at Lower Gravenhurst, Bedfordshire. The 210ha farm grows mainly wheat, oilseed rape and bean
• Read more articles by Matt Redman
• Read more from our arable Farmer Focus writers