Farmer Focus Arable: Philip Bradshaw savours farm charity do

The recent changeable weather has created some challenges. Spraying windows have been rare and with the late start to the spring our workload is backing up.

One useful find is the excellent weather forecast service on the Syngenta Crop Protection website. It has made planning much easier, but sadly most ideal weather windows for spraying still seem to occur on a saturday night.

We have some sugar beet drilled, and I feel happier this year establishing the crop following the recent negotiations between the NFU sugar team and British Sugar. The culture of indecision that growers had become accustomed to in recent years was unacceptable, so it’s good to be able to plan now for the crop in the future.

Our oilseed rape crops are growing well and we’re finally able to relax the pigeon patrol efforts a little. We have spent lots this year maintaining various bird scaring devices and firing rockets to keep the persistent ones away.

Jayne and I were delighted with our recent fundraiser for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service. Over 150 people, many from the farming fraternity, packed into our old barn for a night of fun.

We had an excellent hog roast locally rearerd by Arthur Yardy, some superb Oakham Ales beer and music from Peterborough band Citizen Smif who had nearly everyone dancing enthusiastically through the night.

Thanks to the generosity of the many sponsors, good raffle prize donations, and everyone who attended, we raised just under £3500 – an excellent result.

We were pleased that one guest, Chatteris farmer George Munns, who was airlifted to hospital following a serious accident on farm last year, said a few well chosen words on the evening which reminded us all of the importance of this valuable emergency service.

  • More columns from Philip Bradshaw

  • More columns from other Farmer Focus writers