Made a start, but it’s still raining!

The weather forecast was for a much better week. However, apart from a lovely day on Tuesday it failed to deliver. Never the less we have at last been able to make a start. The hybrid winter barley was due to go in the ground in early October, but torrential rain put paid to that. We do have a few fields which are a clay loam soil rather than gravel and that is where the barley was destined for this time. So to date, no barley has been sown only wheat. We started direct drilling behind the winter linseed on the gravel. We then moved into a light land cultivated rape stubble. The picture above is where we have not cultivated for 2 years using only cover crops to condition the soil. 10mm of rain yesterday has now stopped even that, with more heavy rain forecast today and tomorrow. So far we have only sown about 75ha in 5 days, whereas we would normally hope to average 40ha a day. Whilst I appreciate we have done better than some, you do tend to get over whelmed with your own problems.

I am now on to plan C,  having previously changed some of the heaviest land from winter barley to the spring sown version. The latest idea is to sow a second wheat instead of the winter barley, even if it doesn’t go in until December, because it will still make a better margin on our land than spring barley. This is especially true if we then get a drought next year. All of this is still subject to more change depending on the weather. Either way, I intend to have something to harvest next year.

With the winter linseed I proposed to apply Fusilade Max to take out the barley volunteers and then come back with Centurion Max for the grass weeds. Thanks to the rain, I had to miss out the Fusilade and go straight to the Centurion on the first decent spray day, which was Tuesday of this week. Hopefully this will deal with both problems. The rain has provided excellent germination conditions for the grass weeds. However I am expecting to have to go back again with some Crawler herbicide before Christmas.

There is some disease coming on the cotyledons; Kabatiella Linicola, a similar disease to phoma in oilseed rape. This will need addressing before too long, as control is only by prevention.

Saturday should have been a really uplifting day. I awoke with a rising expectation of hope, with the England Rugby team continuing their march to victory in the World Cup and Brexit finally making some progress.  Well done England, just need to deal with New Zealand now. Wouldn’t it be amazing to play Wales in the final? No so good from our scheming politicians. I voted to remain, but like most people I now just want this over. It is affecting every day life for most of the country and is one worry I could definitely do without.

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