Farmers stay vigilant until the Winter is over

Hayley and Floss
Hayley and Floss

Happy New Year, 2014 has arrived and a rather damp one at that! Though I think we should count ourselves very lucky as we have missed the rain and flooding which they had in the south over Christmas and at least we had electricity to cook our Christmas dinners.

After three weeks off over the Christmas period I thought it may be best to return to work (which I actually started to miss) and crack on with the new year only to realise that my diary is chocker block with meetings.

Things are looking really well out in the fields apart from the odd damp patch, winter wheats and barleys are tillering like crazy and any late wheat that went in is really starting to grow away. OSR plants are pushing on and look like they may escape any significant damage from pigeons. The mild weather seems to be keeping them away but as always we must stay vigilant until Winter leaves us.

Once fields have dried up and soils become a bit warmer, cultivations will commence and farmers will start to drill their Spring crops. Spring drilling is one way of trying to tackle black-grass. It enables the farmer to let the weed establish and grow over winter and hopefully will have a few opportunities to spray the weed off with glyphosate.

We also see the return of the fertiliser spreader to the fields, as crops will be soon be calling for nitrogen and sulphur. Soil Mineral Nitrogen tests can be taken from the soil to establish the level of nitrogen that is already in the soil and can help calculate how much fertiliser needs to be applied.

Nitrogen is a food supply for the crops, like me and you crops need food and water to survive, and it is important the crops receive the right amount of nitrogen and sulphur to achieve good growth and hopefully yield.

At home the three pigs are growing quite nicely and the taste of pork chops is getting closer, though one pig will get a reprieve and will be staying for breeding. So hopefully we will get some baby pigs in the future.

Now all I need to do is persuade dad about those sheep...