After one of the coldest spring periods on record most crops have finally started to grow.
Most of us are looking forward to harvest, though not for high yields, but for the harvesters to remove all evidence of what has been the worst two-year period I have ever seen.
With a relatively high proportion of winter crops failing, the yield potential for this harvest is poor and will probably be similar to last year’s poor harvest.
For most of us the adverse weather of 2012 has caused considerable problems with weed control (black grass), disease control (reduced efficacy of triazole fungicides against septoria tritici) and long lasting soil structure issues.
On top of this many farms are facing increased incidents of theft. There has been a spate of GPS systems stolen, high value items that are easy to remove. High value tractors are also popular for organised criminal gangs.
The main problem for police when recovering stolen plant and machinery is identifying it. There are two schemes promoted by the NFU to combat this. The CESAR vehicle marking and registration scheme and, new for 2013 (and possibly free to NFU Mutual Tractor policy holders), vehicle glass security etching. For information contact your NFU group secretary.
The AGM of the Training Association West (TTAW) is on June 18 at Downham Market, tel 01366 500050.