Leonard Morris is tenant at
206ha (510-acre) White
House Farm, South Kyme
Fen, Lincoln. His heavy land
grows winter wheat and
oilseed rape and spring
peas and linseed. Lighter
ground is cropped with
potatoes, spring rape and
AT THE beginning of the month we collected an Australian agricultural trainee who has been placed with us through the International Agricultural Exchange Association.
He comes from an 800ha (2000-acre) rice, wheat and sheep farm on the New South Wales/Victoria border, approximately three hours north of Melbourne. He should experience a different type of farming while he is here.
We did not get the snow at the beginning of the month, but we did get 23mm (1in) of rain over three days making 40mm (1.6in) for the month. The water authority is already announcing drought conditions in the area for the coming year.
However, on our land it has delayed work yet again. We finally managed to get the light land ploughed ready for spring crops using the Opico square plough, which is light enough to carry over the worst of the wet holes.
On the heavier land we have managed to apply the first of the nitrogen to the oilseed rape – 250kg/ha (2cwt/acre) of 34.5%N.
But chickweed kill in the oilseed rape from pre-emergence Butisan S (metazachlor) is poor. One field is growing away fast enough to smother the weed, but the second has had to be sprayed with Galtak (benazolin) at 1 litre/ha.
That means I can not spray some patches of blackgrass for two weeks. The forward crop has already been sprayed with 0.75 litre/ha Laser (cycloxydim) and 1 litre/ha of Cropoil for cereal volunteers and blackgrass.
The last of the wheat has now been sprayed with 0.125 litre/ha of Topik (clodinafop-propargyl) and 1 litre/ha of Cropoil. The Amazon (clodinafop-propargyl + dff), Auger (ipu), Cropoil mix used earlier on some wheat seems to be taking effect at last and I can now see where the tramlines are.
Our forward wheats are at GS30 and look well, so at the time of writing they have still not had any nitrogen. However, it is possible to find signs of yellow rust in the Consort and Riband which will have to be dealt with shortly. *
Wet weather earlier this month hindered progress for Lincs farmer Leonard Morris. But spring rape ground is now ploughed and winter rape has had its first N. Grass weeds in wheat have finally been subdued.