Farmer Focus: Hoping May-drilled maize recovers

What a mad month June turned out to be. After last year’s flooding disasters, it has been nice to seemingly time things right this year.

Every time the forage harvester has appeared, the rain clouds have followed, which has been great for grass regrowth and has seen a decent amount of quality first and second cut made.

Although it has been more work, by splitting first cut into two it would appear we have made better-quality forage.

See also: Maize grown under film more than 1.8m tall already

It also allowed us to get slurry and fertiliser on straight after, with each cut being dealt with in 24 hours. We have been feeding the first cut for three weeks now and have gained a litre. 

Nitrogen dose

Our early maize has started to take off nicely and is a lovely dark green colour. However, the 8.4ha (21 acres) that went in the second week of May has struggled and needed a nitrogen dose this week.

It’s not a disaster and should recover, but it shows how hungry a crop it is and the importance of the correct moisture levels when drilled. 

All-in-all though, with wholecrop to do next week, third and fourth cut still to be done, and maize now well away, the forage worries of a few weeks ago can hopefully be forgotten. 

Away from the farm, I found myself setting up an account on Instagram last week – lockdown had got that bad!

I have since spent time watching more and more farming-related stories than ever.

Light relief

Undoubtedly, there are some real positives to it. Whether it be the ability to advertise machinery, livestock or employment opportunities.

There are also some incredibly funny people out there who provide great light relief. However, there are negatives. What started off as a tool to promote businesses to the general public has turned into a “look at me” campaign for some. 

With mental health so prevalent at the moment – is this helping others? I worry for individuals spending all day detailing what they do, living in a bubble of cyber popularity. 

I have no doubt social media is a positive thing when used correctly, but at a time when we are very concerned for our wellbeing, I think we should evaluate its use.

Read more about Shropshire farmer Henry Wilson.