Deeping St Nicholas farmer on the perennial subject, the weather

Grower Chris Carter.
Grower Chris Carter.
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At busy times like now, blind panic sets in when faced with the prospect of penning another contribution.

Revisiting the previous effort tends to remind one of matters of concern at that time. In July we were all enjoying a glorious heatwave with one eye upon the likely quality or quantity of the forthcoming harvest. It all seems so long ago and many were complaining of the excessive heat of the time and now we are enduring, as I write, the first rains of autumn.

Over the last week we have recorded over 2 inches of rain which, while unwelcome to root crop lifting, has helped the newly drilled wheats and oilseed rape – hopefully – grow away from pests.

Last year the rain seemed incessant and many growers were caught out with the result that many autumn sown crops didn’t or couldn’t establish properly and yields undoubtedly suffered as a result.

This year after a mercifully trouble free (weatherwise) harvest, all and sundry went about the autumn sowing campaign with enormous vigour to ensure decent establishment before the expected bad weather hit us.

Most people’s oilseed rape looks pretty decent at the moment and the winter wheats all look to be well established; let us hope winter isn’t too severe and that pests can be kept at bay. Isn’t it strange that the weather, hot or cold, wet or dry, tends to dominate agricultural plans year after year?