Spalding area farmer Tony Gent on sowing schedule
As we move towards the last few weeks of winter at last, we are seeing some improvement in the weather which is allowing a catch up with sowing winter wheat on the lighter soils. On heavier soils we can start some spraying operations, but sowing is not yet possible, and I am sure time will run out for that for winter varieties and we will have to resort to spring sowing.
Cropping plans for us are going to be very much dependent on the weather, allowing crops such as wheat and beans to be sown timely.
If that passes, we must move on to crops more suitable for later sowing such as oats and linseed. We have got to remain flexible and make good use of our farm stock of home saved seed, which we can clean so it can go back into the sales heap if it is not used as seed.
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We aim to sow all the area with something, but it may be prudent at some point to decide if it is only a cover crop that’s keeping the soil in good hart and ensuring its availability for an early entry for the 2021 crop.
The imposition of an end to our European Union membership has happened, we still have perhaps years of uncertainty with changing rules, regulations and trading arrangements.
It seems that support is going to be targeted much more towards environmental issues and better soil management, which very much fits in with the way we have evolved our farming methods.
For those that still have farming systems based on intensive high output only are going to find it challenging to move towards a policy of very different priorities.
Maintaining our very high standards of what we produce in the face of inevitable imports grown without regard to controls and regulations that we have all been accustomed to in the EU is going to be very challenging.
Also, there is no-doubt the availability of labour is going impose limits on what we can produce here in the UK. Politicians, and to some extent the public, have their heads in the clouds with all this and hopefully at some point reality will evolve.
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