Moulton onion grower in thankful mood

Moulton onion grower Jim West.
Moulton onion grower Jim West.
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In the last nine months I think we have broken three records in the onion growing industry.

It was probably the longest harvest period since the introduction of modern machinery; it was probably the longest planting period for autumn sown sets; and now, finally, it is almost definitely the longest planting period for spring sown sets.

The weather gods have thrown everything at us. We began delivering sets to growers in January so it snowed and it rained. In April we completed planting and drilling in dry conditions so they decide to send high winds followed by wind blows which damaged established autumn sown crops and knocked out recently planted ones. Just as we have a period of calm, warm growing conditions, the gods decide to cool things down again which I hope will not trigger off bolting like it did last year.

Crops in general are at least two weeks behind on previous years but nature has a way of catching up.

Having grumbled about the weather conditions, I feel suitably embarrassed as I hear about the problems the livestock farmers are suffering with dead calves and lambs after the recent heavy snow and the Schmallenberg disease.

I probably do have the habit of thinking negatively about the problems the arable sector has experienced in recent months and maybe I should occasionally stop being so blinkered and be thankful that we have managed to produce a crop after all.