Brian Lock

8 May 1998

Brian Lock

Brian Lock farms rented and

owned land in Dorset,

including 200ha (500

acres) at Silverlake Farm,

Sherborne. Cropping

includes wheat and barley

for feed, seed and malting markets plus oilseed rape

and herbage seed

A MONTH ago we were well up together with all our field and arable work, but April turned from being the wettest month this century to the wettest on record.

How things have changed or rather, perhaps, stood still.

We have struggled to do any spraying or fertilising because of rain or wind or both. At the time of writing we still have final top dressings of ammonium nitrate to complete on winter wheat and spring oilseed rape. We have managed to complete the T1 fungicide sprays on the wheats, but some applications were made only shortly before yet more rain fell.

We have a big programme of spraying ahead of us in the next few days to say nothing of fertilisers still to be applied. It includes T2 fungicide on winter barley where disease pressures are acute and herbicide on spring oilseed rape. Let us hope that the Bank Holiday weekend will bring more favourable weather for us all, those who have to work and those who might be able to enjoy it.

Two fields of Molisto tetraploid hybrid ryegrass 0have been rolled and fertilised with ammonium nitrate to bring the total nitrogen up to 156kg/ha (125 units/acre). We have two other fields of the same variety which we plan to cut for silage, we hope before May 10, in good dry conditions. We shall then roll, fertilise and shut them up for seed.

This is the first year we have taken silage as part of the seed growing programme, The idea is to spread the harvest date. It works according to experiments. Will it work in practice? We shall see.

We had our verifiers visit and assessment for the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme. There are a number of things we must attend to and procedures we have to improve or put right. I was extremely apprehensive but am relieved these are not nearly as insurmountable as I had feared. &#42

Brian Lock is thankful his ACCS grain store inspection passed without too many problems.

Brian Lock is thankful his ACCS grain store inspection passed without too many problems.

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