Andrew Keeler farms with
his parents at Church Farm,
Aylsham, Norfolk. Sugar
beet, potatoes, winter
wheat and premium malting
barley are grown on the
32ha (80-acre) farm
THE last day in October hundreds of Norfolk farmers, including myself, visited Easton agricultural college for a Health and Safety day organised by the HSE and LANTRA.
Seven areas of safety, each dealing with a different subject, were dedicated 15 minutes each. When a horn sounded your group was escorted on to the next area. Now, 15 mins does not sound long but the folks from LANTRA sure packed a lot into the allotted time.
The fact that a shaft rotating at 1000 rpm will pull a body into it at over 3m/second (11ft/second) brought home the need for proper PTO covers. I am sure I was not the only one to have a look round the machinery and make some minor repairs when I returned home.
We finished harvesting potatoes on Oct 17 and started drilling Claire wheat the day after with the power-harrow/drill combo as the ground was ploughing up rather whole. The wheat was going into a good seed-bed at 185kg/ha (1.5cwt/acre) when, with three-quarters of the field set, it rained and we had to wait 10 days to finish off the field.
While we were waiting to finish the drilling we cleared another 100t of sugar beet which has been sent to the factory leaving us with about 100t to harvest. Provided that the sugars keep up we will comfortably fill our A and B quota.
The warm weather we had during October has seen the barley put on quite a bit of growth and I am left wondering if we could have used a lower seed rate. It has been sprayed against aphids and half of the herbicide applied. As we will need two aphid sprays splitting the herbicide will be no extra cost and should have been gentler on the tender plants. Ingot (IPU + flurtamone + diflufenican) has gone on and will be followed with some straight IPU. *
Did you know a 1000rpm PTO will pull you into a machine at over 3m/second? Andrew Keeler does after an HSE day in Norfolk.