Lutton farmer on weather watch

Hoyles Farm, Monmouth Lane, Lutton'David Hoyles beetroot harvesting for growers
Hoyles Farm, Monmouth Lane, Lutton'David Hoyles beetroot harvesting for growers
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While most of us make the most of the dry, sunny weather, farmers are closely watching its effect on different crops.

Lutton farmer David Hoyles is no exception, with mustard, beetroot, potatoes and cereal crops to monitor.

The beetroot harvest has begun, with about 1,500 tonnes of beetroot grown in 120 acres.

The mustard has just about finished flowering at Monmouth House Farm, and David says: “That’s about on time and the bees have been working hard and it’s got good potential. It looks one of the better crops we have had in the last five years. I think it enjoyed, when it was in its early growing stage, that it wasn’t too cold or too warm. It grew nice and steadily and didn’t have a lot of pests and disease at that critical time because it was cool and cloudy. Then the sunshine came out, which attracts all the bees and pollinating insects, and they have done a good job and it’s looking quite good.”

The potatoes are also growing well, although David says they “need a bit of a drink”, particularly as little or no rain was forecast at a time when the potatoes would be going through their bulking up stage in order to grow bigger.

A feasibility study has been started to investigate irrigation options on the farm, but David says: “Irrigation is something we need to look at investing in but it’s a long process getting abstraction licenses and it’s a big investment.”