Saturday 29th May, 2010
As I write this there is the unfamiliar sound of rain against the windows. Boy do we need it! Not just for the peas, but all crops on the farm. There was an air of confidence about rain this weekend because it is The Carrington Steam Engine Rally, and it is very rare that it does not rain on this occasion. Let's hope there is a reasonable amount today, enough to penetrate down to some of the last sown seeds that have yet to germinate. Most early crops are looking, as the picture suggestes, magnificent. Slightly off green, due to lack of moisture, but the best we have seen for a number of years. The jury is still out on some of the later ones.
Monday 24th May, 2010
A new arrival! The replacement for our 2004 979-AT arrived today, a 979-CT. There have been a few changes since we purchsaed a 979-CT in 2008, but in the main they are identical. It is a huge cost buying machinery that we use for a few weeks of the year, but we have little choice. The fact that we put 1000 to 1500 acres through each machine per year, we have to update them on a regular basis. The cost has increased a lot in recent years, but is really a factor of the rising cost of materials, and currency fluctuations. Anyway, we have it and we will work it. The boys will go to PMC in Fakenham next month for some operator training so they can hit the ground running.
Sunday 23rd May, 2010
Amazing what a bit of warm weather can do! Having just had flower at the begining of last week, we are now white over with flower, and pod pushing out as well. The temperatures are due to return to normal as the week goes on, so I still think that we will be around the 20th June for the start of our 2010 trip around Lincolnshire. Dare I say it, but we could do with a much needed drink, some of the later drilled peas will struggle to get established.
Friday 21st May, 2010
The variety trial that was drilled in April is now coming on. There has been no rain to speak of since these peas went in, therefore the quality of the land, the ability of the drill, and its operators of course, have all come good to produce what appears to be a promising trial plot. Let's hope that in a few years' time a new variety will emerge from here, at a reasonable cost of course!
Thursday 20th May, 2010
Today saw the last of the peas being drilled for the 2010 crop. The last fields were fairly dry and will have to work hard to establish. Peas drilled on monday have now got good chits on and could be up next week, if these high temperatures hold. A close eye must now be kept on all crops for moth and aphid infestation. Flowers will also being to show more readily, which will give a good indication as to where the pressure points will be at harvest.
Tuesday 18th May, 2010
At this time of year you would expect a lot of dust behind the drills, but not this year. It is by no means wet but conditions are better for May than in the previous 4 years. Having looked further down the drilling programme crops, where affected, are begining to grow away from weevil damage, but the dreaded pigeon is still a nusiance. It looks like all the peas will be in by thursday evening, so post then, if you are tunned in in Menorca, an inch of rain will be most welcome!
Monday 17th May, 2010
At last FLOWER! The warmer weather has brought the early peas on well, so given this I would hope that we will be harvesting by the Lincolnshire Show. A little later than normal, but was is normal weather now. At this time of year most emerged crops look similar and it gets a bit disconcerting, now they are coming into flower the crops begin to show their potentail different harvest dates. Thank God!
Tuesday 11th May, 2010
A trip round the earlies today to check on their progress, and see how they have faired in the cold weather of recent days. The answer is pretty well! If it had been warmer this week we would have seen flowers on the plants. The buds are nicely tucked up away from the cold, and given the potential rise in the temperatures over the weekend we should see flower next week. The rain of last saturday has led to good drilling conditions for this time of the year. Our area south of Boston is now complete, and we are starting tomorrow in the Sibsey and Wrangle area. If all goes to plan drilling will be completed next week. A week later than usual, which will lead to a later start, probably around the 20th June.
Saturday 8th May, 2010
Just a brief break during the much welcomed rain of today. It has rained most of the day, but not so much as to stop us drilling completely. We are finishing off some Serge at Swineshead, and it has gone well. It is still a concern that the temperatures are below the seasonal averages. Next week I will have an opportunity to look at all the early peas to give me a better insight into when we may start harvesting next month. Not as early as we have in previous years I suspect!
Tuesday 4th May, 2010
Down in London Town today at DEFRA discussing ways in which we might encourage the consumption, and therefore increase the production of UK fruit and vegetables. DEFRA's offices are just up from the Houses of Commons, and boy was it quiet. All except the media village which, as you can see, was being constructed ready for the results of the General Election on friday. This DEFRA work has been going on for some time, so whoever takes up the post of Minister let's hope he will allow this work to continue, rather than have his/her (have to be PC) own agenda.
Sunday 2nd May, 2010
Typical Bank Holiday, cold, damp and bleak. A bit like The Labour Party's election campaign! A field of Novella in the Marsh, showing slight Weevil damage, but last week's warm spell has encouraged the crop to grow out of it. Generally the field looks well. There was a slight concern that when this field was being drilled there was a problem with the drill. This has now become evident, and we have a couple of Skylark patches. The local wildlife has benefitted from the problem. Last week saw us complete the drilling in the Bourne and West Pinchbeck areas. We now sit and wait until wednesday before we fire up the Quattro again, and continue drilling in the Bicker, Donington and Wigtoft areas. This should give us some breathing space at harvest time.