Ian Brown

17 April 1997

Ian Brown

Ian Brown is a third

generation tenant on the

156ha (385-acre) Lee Moor

Farm, Rennington, Alnwick,

Northumberland, where he

grows winter wheat, barley

and oilseed rape as well as

spring peas

THE seed peas were drilled on Mar 23 into a good, moist seed-bed. But circumstances and the weather meant they werent rolled, which has gone from being a mistake to being a very good idea in the light of the 100mm (4in) of rain weve endured since.

We had decided to change policy and avoid a pre-emergence spray anyway. I am now led to believe many people in the south regularly roll post-emergence without any damage to yield, so we shall perhaps have a go in a few weeks time.

We sold another load of feed wheat at £70.50/t, only to get a £1/t reduction for a 71.8kg/ha bushel weight. The words insult to injury spring to mind. That leaves us with just 50t to go – but at what price remains to be seen. It keeps going down by £10/t between every load I sell.

The malting barleys have had all their fertiliser and the rape and seed barleys just require a final dollop when the weather clears. Most wheats have had their first dose and I have to say crops are looking a very healthy green. I dont know what it would be called on the Dulux colour chart, but Im happy with that colour wall to wall on my farm.

Trees are a quick way to lower the value of land on the face of, it but weve planted 1.2ha (3 acres) on a bit of cleared scrub using appropriate forestry grants, and have just rented a 3.9ha (9.7 acres) wood from our landlord which brings our tree area to 12.1ha (30 acres).

As a tenant this is unusual. But I have appropriate agreements in place and the wooded areas increase both the nature and shooting potential on the farm for the future. &#42

Planting trees is unusual behaviour for a tenant, says Ian Brow. But the has planted 1.2ha and has just rented a further 3.9ha of woodland.

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