The Tribulations of Arable Farming in Spring 2017
ArdMoor’s Managing Director, Anthony Stodart, tells us what’s been happening on his arable farm, which is also home to ArdMoor’s headquarters.
Here in East Lothian, one of the mildest winters for many a year has turned into one of the driest springs in living memory. Everything is desperate for a drink, with the fertiliser that was applied to the winter wheat still needing rain to wash it into the ground.
The spring sowing season was done in a cloud of dust which, at times, was so thick we couldn’t see where we were going and meant early finishes as the floodlights on the dust make rolling after dusk almost impossible to do accurately.
For those of us who still operate without GPS, the Mark 1 human eyeball and a steady hand are both needed to ensure everything is straight and no ground is missed!
The spring sown barley and peas are just coming up in this warm weather but they too need rain to get them really going and to ensure a full germination. They have had their first doses of fertiliser applied to ensure they get the best possible start, but fertiliser only works if it can get to the roots of the growing crop and it needs rain to do that.
That is why April showers are normally perfect at this time of year where light rain, interspersed with periods of sun, gets everything growing in the optimum way. Instead we have had no rain for weeks with an almost constant wind drying the ground out so, now that all the main crops are in the ground, we are praying for less wind and some nice gentle rain…..no deluges please!