Harvest is now in the barn and generally went well, although it did seem to take a long time to get the last spring crops in.
We have now turned our attention to establishing next year’s crops, writes Edward Gent.
The oilseed rape goes in first, drilled in August as soon as we can after we have harvested the previous crop. The warm moist weather has suited the establishment of the rape this year and the crop looks very well.
The next crop to establish is wheat, which we started to drill in late September. Conditions were dry at the time, but these early drilled crops have established well. As the soil got drier towards mid-October, we decided to hold off drilling for a bit as conditions were not ideal and we wanted to allow blackgrass time to grow before we drilled more wheat. Since then the weather has turned wetter, which has got the blackgrass growing well, so as soon as we can get a decent weather window we will endeavour to finish the rest of the drilling for this autumn. If this all goes to plan that should leave just over a third of our area in overwinter stubble for spring cropping. We establish all our crops directly into the soil in a single pass. While presenting us with many challenges we have learnt a lot over the years and the system reduces our costs dramatically. Also the soil is generally in much better condition, with much more life in the soil, which in turn feeds the growing crop.