William Hamilton

5 December 1997

William Hamilton

William Hamilton is tenant

on the 205ha (506-acre)

Rosery Farm, Little

Stonham, Stowmarket,

Suffolk. Main crops are

winter wheat and oilseed

rape but he also grows

winter beans and

vining peas

So, whats been happening on the farm at Little Stonham during the last month?

On the oilseed rape front, Navajo and a few trial varieties have now been put to bed for the winter. They had a top dressing of nitrogen as none was applied in the seed-bed and my son, Angus, recently applied Kerb (propyzamide) to control volunteer cereals and blackgrass together with a fungicide.

All the winter wheats except late-sown Chablis have been treated with Avadex (tri-allate) granules to control wild oats and suppress blackgrass, our number one weed enemy.

Blackgrass resistance to IPU has been confirmed here, so we can no longer rely on IPU alone. The follow-up treatment has been a mixture of IPU with DFF and an insecticide to control BYDV.

One field of Abbot has been spared this application for the time being as it is looking decidedly jaded. Along the lines of the pre-drilling cultivation, where the seeds went in on the deep side, the plants have emerged but died off. The breeders are sending someone to inspect this crop, but naturally it is situated right beside the A120 trunk road for all to see!

Unusually we ploughed and pressed wheat stubble then went straight in with a Nordsten cultivator drill to establish winter beans this year. Only the headlands needed treating with the power harrow.

Last year we grew the variety Striker, which I was pleased with, until I heard about the yields of locally grown Target. So Target was our choice this autumn and as I write they are emerging – much to the delight of the local rooks.

Cyril has now ploughed land earmarked for vining peas next year. Due to the high value of sterling, and other factors, vining peas are our loss leader at the moment.

PS. Our IACS cheque arrived on November 21 – most welcome.n

An embarrassingly sad looking crop of Abbot milling wheat alongside the A120 on William Hamiltons farm has prompted checks by the breeder.

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