Green shoots

Wheat direct drilled into winter linseed stubble on some of the gravel is just starting to poke through the ground. Even on the more friendly soil, we have had problems in fully closing the slot this time. Normally the John Deere 750A drill would be followed up by the ring rolls, but not this year. We have managed to get 80% of our winter barley sown and about 60% of the wheat. I am still optimistic that we can get the rest of the wheat in by January if the weather improves. The only thing is, I am not sure how much is going to make it through to the light and then into a strong, robust plant, let alone produce something to harvest. With the seed sitting in cold, wet soils and the constant threat of slugs it is going to be a worrying few months. Still it’s been dry today despite the 18mm we had last night and so far the ground down by the Thames hasn’t flooded.

There are others far worse off than us, but we have been there in the past when the Thames has broken its banks. The current floods and those on the Somerset Levels in 2014, are down to a lack of river maintenance, in my opinion. It’s difficult to take on board the way funding is allocated to the large, fancy flood protection schemes around urban areas. Obviously, people’s homes should be protected, but the money would be better spent ensuring the water was moved down stream by removing the silt. It strikes me that it is more to do with saying ‘look what we have done’, rather than the more boring and unnoticed maintenance.

The latest craze to hit us is joy riders driving out onto newly sown fields, not that we have many of them. Then they perform dough nuts just to make sure they really trash the field. Heart breaking when you have struggled so hard to get a crop in.

manicured.punchy.vintages. No I haven’t had a manic keyboard fit. That is the what3words location of the photo of the wheat plants above, a brilliant app I discovered for my phone, that proved to be really useful at harvest helping our student find gateways for fields.  It could be a possible life saver for the air ambulance to locate an injured person, or to inform the police of the whereabouts of a crime. Post codes are pretty useless in the countryside as they often cover quite a large area. This divides the whole world up into 3m square grids each with its own unique 3 word location code. Try it here https://what3words.com/manicured.punchy.vintages  Now that’s a positive way to sign off.

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