Full speed ahead!

The weather is holding up well for us in Essex. Now we are getting into the busy harvest period the grain is being taken off the field using our chaser and loaded straight onto the Griffin lorry. These were taken in Belchamp Walter, Essex, not far from Munt Farm.

Griffin Farming harvesting in Belchamp Walter Essex

Harvest in Belchamp Walter,  Essex

After only 2.8mm this wet weekend does rainfall looks a problem this year?

After a damp but disappointing rainfall over the weekend (14th June) I had a look back at this year’s total rainfall in comparison to where we were this time last June.  Slightly worried to see that we are some 85mm short with the next few weeks forecast set to high pressure !  Looks as if we are about to see if better soil structure actually does hold more water although I’d prefer not to test the principle in practice !

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec TOT
2014 71.0 61.2 14.6 13.0 72.8 20.6 91.8 55.4 13.2 62.2 84.8 41.0 601.7
2015 53.4 26.6 20.4 25.4 41.6 1.6 169.0
MIN 53.4 26.6 14.6 13.0 41.6 1.6 39.8 46.8 13.2 57.2 8.8 41.0 601.7
MAX 71.0 61.2 20.4 25.4 72.8 20.6 91.8 55.4 30.8 62.2 84.8 45.3 601.7
AVG 62.2 43.9 17.5 19.2 57.2 11.1 65.8 51.1 22.0 59.7 46.8 43.2 601.7

Garford Hoe; very impressed !

Now its turned a bit drier we are just dealing with the last of the blackgrass between the rows after Cent Max spray, getting most of the weed beet out (which will save a bit of backbreaking work latter !) and spraying some Dow Shield down the rows to get some late germinating thistles out.

Update on drilling into 2nd Wheat into standing mustard last autumn

Bit of an update on last years direct drilled 2nd wheats which we tried into a standing mustard cover crop.  It was quite adventurous so was done on a limited area.

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This is what we drilled into above and a clip taken from Daryn’s mobile phone below.  It took a bit of confidence to push on with it as it was hard to see exactly what was going on but the seed went into very good conditions, plenty of moisture and tilth so we were reasonably confident it would come out okay.

It was a very bad grass block hence our plan not to give the blackgrass any chance to get established.  We had given the mustard 3lt of Roundup the day before drilling.  Some problems with blocking especially on the headlands but we persevered.

 

This is a few days after emergence, not the best looking crop in Essex I have to admit but a crop never the less.  Mustard is down on the ground between the rows and covering the soil which was quiet notable in that we had quite a lot of rainfall and then drying out and the soil remained open and uncapped.

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Same crop at early ear emergence with the picture taken in the same location.  Reasonably happy with it but hasn’t tillered very well which may be the variety or the method, I’m not sure.  Best thing is that the blackgrass was controlled quiet well with just a pre-emergence spray.  Will be interesting to see how it yields for first year no-till ground.

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Drilling spring barley with the Sumo DD April-15

Drilling spring barley into a standing mustard cover crop with the Sumo DD single disc opener direct drill.  We’ve done some 250 acres with the drill having been to see Sumo last year and discussing the concept with them.  Very pleased with what the drill has achieved as it disturbs very little ground, places the seed just in the moisture and at a good depth and Sumo as a company are first rate.  Many thanks to Marcus and Robert for all their help and sorry about tearing up your pre-production coulters!

I will try and update this as the crop comes on but I’m quite hopefully that it will be a good result.