Thursday 20th March, 2008
This morning a quick trip around 750 acres of early peas gave me the chance to assess how the crops were faring in this cold weather. I was pleasantly surprised that there has been good growth despite the semi arctic conditions. The first blocks at Sleaford were all emerging, you can just make them out on the attached picture, and the second block that is up the A15 towards Lincoln are all just about to come through.
Given what the weather forecast is for Easter, they would be better off with their heads underground. The peas that were direct drilled at Sleaford look well, and one obvious benefit is the fact that by drilling them this way it does reduce wind blow and therefore soil erosion, something that we must be mindful of. Can't see much happening over the next few days as more rain is forecast tomorrow
Thursday 13th March, 2008
A quick look around the peas drilled last week is encouraging, All have chitted despite the cold winds that we had. There are just 110 acres north of Boston to drill before we start on our Organic peas. This year there will be 74 acres of Organics, which are a challenging crop to grow given all the weed pressures that we have.
We obviously cannot use chemicals, and rely on mechanical techniques, which can be damaging to the crop, and hand labour which is very expensive. Hence the higher prices needed to grow such crops. In these days of measuring our carbon footprints, whilst we do not use pesticides in the Organics, we do use a considerable amount of fuel trying to get the crop weed free. Can Organics ever be carbon neutral? An interesting thought. It's all about getting the balance right.