Will Howe questions all the advice being given for backward crops

There do appear to be a lot of experts hovering around arable farmers at the moment.

In every magazine or online publication there are articles telling us how we should treat backward crops; or this is how “we” believe spring crops are best grown. In fact it is the same people who advised us to use every trace element and SDHI fungicide known to man last season. All I know is that last season I had the largest total spend per tonne of yield and the lowest yield. I am sure the weather could be used as mitigating circumstances.

Also, we are being advised against making any knee-jerk decisions as this most recent weather pattern is a once in a generation phenomenon. Yet my knee has jerked so hard I think I have pulled a hamstring. The drainage contractors are booked in to re-drain 120ha this spring and summer, which other than paying for, I am looking forward to greatly.

The dry fields will mean that my new farm assistant Chris will not know he is born, and will never be able enjoy the memories of wet spots on the sprayer. After a mind-numbing few days sweeping sheds he is now tackling ditch maintenance with all the gusto of a ram at tupping time (he is a part-time shepherd as well).

You could tell it had been a wet year at LAMMA, by the number of drainage contractors and drain jetting machines on view. It was just a shame it was not warmer and that the delays on the first day were unlike any I had encountered before.

And as we bid farewell to the event from our area, we look forward to future shows in its new location with a larger site, better access, warmer weather, better food stalls and – allegedly – no charge.

Read more from Will Howe

Read more from our Arable Farmer Focus writers