Moulton grower on the winter weather to come

Jim West.
Jim West.

The weather has been headline news for the past month and it has been devastating to see farmers loading up their livestock to move away from farms knee deep in water.

One farmer’s wife summed up the distress by saying that a farm without its animals was a dead farm.

South Lincolnshire hasn’t escaped the rain and our fields and dykes are full of water. Normally at this time of year we would be planting our trials and bringing in the onion sets. The continuous wet weather has been an inconvenience but when I see the hardships that growers in the south-west are facing, I feel I shouldn’t complain too much about our problems.

This time last year onion sets were struggling to emerge through the cold crusted soils, but despite the rain we have had an incredibly mild start to 2014 and some of the earliest planted autumn sown sets are showing down the rows.

However, I fear that we have not escaped winter yet. Berries are still on bushes and I was told the following saying last week: “If it is bright and gay on Michaelmas Day then sell the old horse and buy some new hay.” Michaelmas Day was the first Sunday in February and this was bright and sunny. Based on this, it seems we will soon experience a spell of cold weather so it is probably time we got out our thermals!