Monday 29th March, 2010
The first peas are begining to emerge on the light land. It would be helpful if the temperatures were able to rise to allow them to grow away from the pigeons, but looking at the forecast it looks like the wind is turning to the north and we are in for a wet and cold few days. This week has been frustrating with the rain showers making it difficult to plan drilling. It has just been the case of going where we can. The last two springs have been pretty good, if a bit dry, so it may be we are going to get a slightly more testing one this year. With price levels being where they are we have to make sure that the peas go in in good conditions, and make every one count.
Friday 19th March, 2010
Pressing on at a pace to try and beat the rain that is due in on friday night. We are now drilling at Blankney Estates on Lincoln Heath. You can see by the size of the drill we are not long getting a few acres covered here. The variety is Style supplied by Churchs of Bures. This is our third year with this variety, and it has performed well for us in the past so we have a larger area this year. It matures four days later than Twinkle which allows us to overlap our drilling. Spring did arrive late but at the end of this week we should have in the region of 800 acres in the ground. A good start in good conditions, with good seedbeds. The weather next week does not look promising!
Wednesday 17th March, 2010
As you can see we have got some good growth in a week, which shows that the soil is warming up. These are the very first drilled peas in the Grantham area, the variety is Twinkle. Having seen this it gives you confidence to continue drilling up on Lincoln Heath, which in theory is our next port of call when we get to harvesting. If temperatures remain where they are I would like to see that these have emerged in about a week to ten days time. Then it will be an ongoing battle to keep the pigeons off!
Tuesday 16th March, 2010
Not a great picture I grant you, but you can just make out that soil temperatures are nearing 10C! Spring might be here! The first peas drilled last week have broken the skin, and in some cases chitted. This is good news as we can now progress the drilling and start on Lincoln Heath. The weather looks fair for a few days, but we are expecting a wet day on friday which will no doubt bring us to a halt. It will be a shame because the wind of the last few days have dried the soil out well.
Thursday 11th March, 2010
We have dipped our toes into what is cold water! A start was made at Wilsford this week and, apart from the temperatures, it is going well as you would expect on the lighter land. We are not rushing about and will drill at a steady pace until the soil fully warms up. Nature does have a funny way of sorting itself out, in fact some older members of the farmimg community would say that the seasons have been just how it used to be! I do hope that the prolonged winter has made some dent in the stock of peas we have, given that fresh vegetables have not been in full and constant supply.
Wednesday 3rd March, 2010
I will just whisper the fact that we have not seen rain for two whole days now! We can now start to think about getting our drilling programme under way near Grantham. With the soil still being very cold there is little point in getting too excited yet. Peas, like all plants, require heat as well as moisture for them to grow. The storm that has just come across Europe will not have been of a benefit to pea crops already in the ground in southern Europe, and we will have to wait and see if it has done any lasting damage. As has been previously reported, the closure of the Birds Eye Lowestoft plant will be a huge blow to those growers in Suffolk and Norfolk. Whether it has implications to the rest of the industry it is too early to tell. Contract prices are down this year, so a microscopic examination of costs is taking place. Seed is a high proportion of our costs, and its value is greatly affected by currency fluctuations. Needless to say it's very expensive at the moment. Hopefully we will be under shortly and will endeavour to keep you, and our Menorcan friends up to date with our progress!