Thoughts from a farmer

Grower Jim West.
Grower Jim West.
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When contemplating what to write about, a friend suggested there could only be one subject – the weather.

From an onion perspective, the weather in 2012 could not have been much worse.

The cold snaps at the start of the year almost certainly helped create excessive bolting.

From an onion breeder’s viewpoint, this was superb as it produced reams of useful notes, but for the growers and seed suppliers it was a nightmare.

The continuous wet weather of late summer and early autumn created many problems in both the harvesting of the 2012 onions and the planting of autumn sets.

The planting period was the longest I can remember, beginning in October and with the final sets being planted in mid-December.

2013 hasn’t started much better because, as I write, we have our first deliveries of spring sets arriving which have coincided with heavy falls of snow and that will obviously delay spring planting.

However, having watched the recent BBC programme about the harsh winter of 1963, when the land was covered with deep snow until early March , I beg the question, ‘why are we worrying’!

I hope for both myself and all the growers’ sakes that 2013 starts to show signs of improvement.

I wish you all a successful season.