Farming News – September 2020

by Malcolm Barker

As I sit here on a rainy late August evening the summer seems to be slipping away. August, in this area, is often the wettest month of the year, with conversely, February being the driest. This February was an exception to that rule.

Around the bank holiday at the end of August we usually get a spell of dry weather which normally stays throughout September, and this is the time to finish the cereal harvest which this year is the lowest yielding of any that I remember. You may have noticed tall green weeds standing proud of the corn. This is a weed called Fat Hen which was grown as a crop during the Iron Age and Roman period. The shadows of the past are still showing across the land.

Potatoes are now showing signs of senescence which is the stage where the canopy dies back and the nutrients from the leaves flow back to the roots and particularly the tubers (the parts we eat) helping them grow.