Posted on 28 May, 2017Comments (0)

Farm Notes

Farm Notes

The hoped for rain has arrived and crops, grass, flowers and planted vegetables will be transformed. In April we recorded about 18 mm early in the month from a Saturday storm and then a few millimetres just before the month’s end. Now the plants have the moisture in the rooting zone and will take up the nutrients. The warmer days of March and early April resulted in crop growth stages being about 12 days ahead of a normal season but the cold winds of late April slowed growth to a normal year. Growth stages are determined by dissecting the plants and identifying the growth stage from sometimes tiny embryonic leaves or ears – patience and a good blade are required.

Will this seasons weather affect the grain yields later in the year? Probably yes because the dryness caused some embryonic ears to abort and any stressed crop due to poor soil structure or nutrient deficiencies will have reduced potential. The disease profile has been different this year with more mildew than I have seen for a while. The worst disease affecting wheat in our area is always septoria tritici and in some crops I have seen elsewhere the lower leaves are brown which will limit photosynthesis and therefore yield. Long hours of daylight but not high temperatures are now required to maximise the potential.

The ewes will be shorn in the next few weeks. The full fleeces become itchy and the ewes roll on to their backs to scratch sometimes becoming cast – they are unable to roll back onto their legs which makes them vulnerable to crows attacking their eyes. Bloat is another problem because as ruminants they produce a lot of gases which need to be released but that cannot happen whilst upside down – hopefully you understand my meaning which also explains why they are accused of adding to the CO2 and global warming. Do vegetarians have the same problem?

Julian Lewis

[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]

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