Farming News – May 2020

Seen from my tractor window, one of the few good things to come out of the lockdown is the number of families walking around the village. I hope this family time continues when the current crisis is past.

The wettest of winters has turned into a cold, dry, spring. Land which was too wet to walk upon, is now almost too dry to plough. After ploughing, there is a short opportunity of a day or so to harrow it down and get the crop drilled. If the land is left in ‘the plough seam’ for too long it dries and bakes in the sun, becoming like rocks which then have to be broken up by machinery. This is expensive with extra fuel used, time taken and wear and tear upon machinery. Notice how many fields have large bare patches where the crop has not germinated. In the autumn sown crops, this indicates the areas where water has stood and killed the underlying seed. In spring sown crops, this indicates where the seed has been too dry to germinate. Few fields have escaped with a full crop growing into the summer. But, with the wet winter and dry spring we should, on average, be happy.