William Hamilton is tenant
on the 205ha (506-acre)
Rosery Farm, Little
Suffolk. Main crops are
winter wheat and oilseed
rape, but he also grows
winter beans and
OUR vining peas were drilled direct into the ploughed surface this year, due to the bad weather preventing us from performing any cultivations before sowing. In fact the field chosen for our crop of Novella by fieldman, Robert Lee, was out of sequence, as it had not been pulled down and, therefore, was only just dry enough for drilling to take place at all.
I was impressed by the job done by the Vaderstad Rapide and operator, Robert Hale, under these difficult conditions. As our group is contracted to supply a regular quantity of peas every day throughout the harvesting season, we sometimes have to plant the crop when we would rather not. This was one of those occasions.
It brings home the necessity and fairness of sharing the returns from this crop equally per acre across all our 17 growers.
Turning to our wheat crop, it has now received the balance of CCC (chlormequat) and a further shot of manganese sulphate, plus a suitable tank mix of fungicides according to variety. For the first time we have used Unix (cyprodinil) in an attempt to control eyespot wherever it was posing a threat.
With Terpal in short supply this year I am glad that we split the CCC into two applications.
At the end of April all the wheat fields received their main top dressing of 100kg/ha of nitrogen in liquid form. Thanks to frequent showers little scorching has been noticed.
Despite earlier optimism, a few patches of blackgrass have been seen to rear their ugly heads above the wheat. Angus has treated them with Topik (clodinafop-propargyl).
Our crop of Navajo oilseed rape looks a treat at the moment. Recently we gave it a cocktail of fungicides and insecticides to control sclerotinia, botrytis and insects such as pod midge and seed weevil.
If there is going to be a response to this treatment, we ought to see one this year after all the rain we had in April. *
Fungicide seems to be keeping on top of disease in Bill Harbours winter beans. But cereal flag leaf spraying has required plenty of juggling to keep severe disease pressure at bay.