What a difference a year makes - this time in 2018 we endured snow blizzards and minus 15 deg and that was after a wet summer, autumn and early spring. This year the complete opposite;- the rain stopped and the sun came out in late spring, followed by a wonderful summer with some of the easiest harvesting and drilling times we have ever seen. We then enjoyed a beautiful autumn and mild winter. One to be remembered.
During the summer we were offered the chance to test a combine harvester with an enormous 45ft header - it cleared all our wheat of 276 ac in one and half days - a new record. Ideal in perfect conditions but in a normal year not so clever as 2/3rd of the crop would have been unfit and the soil damage of such a huge machine with 15-tonne grain carts would have been horrific.
Then it stayed dry all winter. In January we had just 5mm of rain and February 10mm - normally we average 140mm per month. The springs on the farm have remained dry and up until the end of February we still had huge cracks in the grassland - we don’t need Europe but we certainly do need rain! As I write March has been considerably wetter and normality seems to be returning but I do worry about the trees and deep down moisture.
Having said that it has been lovely having such a dry winter and we have had a good catching up. Mervyn has been busy repairing the field fencing and Pete has fixed all the walls that have shifted and fallen due to the dry summer and the crops are looking good. Keen to get some fertiliser on - but it's now a little windy (is a farmer ever happy?!)