Dennis Ford

29 May 1998

Dennis Ford

Dennis Ford farms 384ha

(950 acres) from Home

Farm, Hinton Parva,

Swindon, Wilts. One-third is

owned, two-thirds tenanted

and a small area contract

farmed. Cropping is winter

wheat, barley, rape and

beans, plus spring rape,

linseed and flax

SINCE last writing much has happened on the farm; the rain stopped at the beginning of the month and we were able to complete our "early spring" spraying.

The programme included treating our second wheats, typically with a mixture of 0.23 litres/ha Genie (flusilazole), 0.2 litres/ha Mistral (fenpropimorph) and chlormequat at 0.75 litres/ha with, where needed, 0.5 litres/ha Multimin (liquid trace elements).

The first wheats had a dose of 0.35 litres/ha Opus (epoxiconazole), 0.2 litres/ha Mistral, and chlormequat at 0.75 litres/ha. All of the wheat crops have received their total nitrogen for this year except milling varieties, where we will be putting on a further 43kg/ha (34.5 units/acre).

The remaining winter barley crop was finally able to be sprayed with 0.5 litres/ha Punch C (carbendazim + flusilazole) and Avenge (difenzoquat) at 5 litres/ha followed a week later. I hope the wild oats will, if not killed, at least be stunted.

The Punch winter beans have been treated for chocolate spot with a treatment of 0.5 litres/ha Folicur (tebuconazole) and 0.5 litres/ha mbc. From the ground the crop looks pretty good, but last week I was fortunate to be taken on a helicopter ride around the farm, and the beans from up there did not look so good. Some of the middle parts of the fields look quite disappointing, and I wonder if we did something wrong at planting.

We have at last planted all of the flax and spring rape – Laura and Liga, respectively. The two fields of flax planted on May 2 are up and away and are due to be sprayed with cypermethrin to take out flea-beetles, while the OSR and last field of flax have dried out and have yet to germinate. My good friend "Picky", who I bumped into (or rather he fell into me!) at a wedding recently, told me not to worry, as it will all soon catch up. I hope he is right.

A helicopter trip over the farm put a new perspective on Punch beans at Dennis Fords Home Farm, Hinton Parva, Wilts.

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