Decision Time

This farm like many others is spluttering along although ‘splashing along’ might be a more accurate description at present! We are wet, very wet. The land here is a free draining soil type over chalk, but has become waterlogged right to the top of our slopes during this extremely wet winter.

In fact, even though we’ve had several dry days they have not been drying days. Given 48 hours with a decent wind and plenty of sun, and once we’re able to travel on the soil enabling another cultivation to help dry everything out – planting of the crops could possibly take place!

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Since the end of October 2019 only 45% of our winter crops have been planted. Time is fast running out for using the original winter cropping plans and unless we can get seeds into the ground in the next fortnight, it will be necessary to opt out and purchase spring varieties which might include barley, beans, linseed or even canary seed crops!

Apart from the obvious economic downside of this changed strategy, it will mean storing the original wheat and bean seed for use in October of this year! Doubtless there will be a reduced germination issue to contend with from this seed and everything will need testing to establish the position before we sally forth with planting in the autumn.

On the other side of our business, work has progressed well with further workshop modifications during the wet spell. If anyone is looking for smaller units of approx. 600 sq ft – look no further and get in touch!

We are within a few days of lambing the sheep flock and, hopefully, are reasonably organised to cope with a concentrated month of work! Scanning results were good and it’s now up to management to get things right, fingers crossed!

Thank goodness the Brexit saga is over and the new government will deliver on the many promises made, bringing a degree of credibility back into the parliamentary process! What an absolute shambles we experienced from Westminster leading up to the recent general election.

With environmental issues now topping the list of priorities throughout the world it is only right that UK farmers, and the wider industry help lead the future process in this country. This will be an exciting challenge for us all, presenting a green light for great changes of a technological, conservation, land use and food production nature.

Historically, this type of development and change has been led by incentives from government and in the past been stimulated by a first-class advisory service, which we do not have at present. Undoubtedly the younger generation will lead the field on this, and with ten grandchildren to follow on we feel a major responsibility in setting the foundation for their future.