Farmer Focus: Richard Beachell February column

I travelled down to LAMMA with Nick, my farming neighbour, and he commented that farmers would be like kids in a sweet shop with their pocket money, given the upturn in commodity prices.

I was amazed at how the big the event has become –now second only to Cereals for a worthwhile day out at an agricultural show.

We arrived early but it was a struggle to get round in the day. It was pleasing to sense the positive vibes oozing from the machinery stands.

Our machinery policy sees us looking to replace the trailed crop sprayer andthis was our focus.Over the past few months we have narrowed the choice to two machines but this increased to three after we were impressed with another model there.

The idea is to convert from solid to liquid fertiliser and just one machine so it’s important that we make the right choice.

The price per unit andavailability of liquid nitrogen is a major concern. Supplies are so tight that we can’t get hold of a tanker load to test it out this season.

Once we’ve gone down this route there is no going backas tramline widths would increase to 28m which, in our opinion, is really too wide to spread accurately with a spinning disc unless SP5 material is used.

Over the years fine–tuning of crop husbandry has enabled us to produce a quality bread wheat sample, and there is a certain reluctance to start the learning curve again via the liquid route.

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