January 2004            Click here to go back to this year

After a very difficult year for autumn cultivation and drilling because of the lack of rain, we are now seeing where we made the wrong decisions and when we made the right ones.

Solstice winter wheat which was drilled around the middle of September, lied in a bone dry seedbed until it rained during the last few days of October. Emergence wasnít until the third week of November. The eight weeks which the seed lay in the ground took its toll on seed viability and vigor, and today, the crop looks pretty thin and backward, but their are still sufficient plants to make a crop.

Solstice Winter Wheat

The same block of late emerged Solstice winter wheat is the only field yet to receive any herbicide. It hadnít reached a sufficient grow stage to be sprayed with the rest of our wheat crop, and since then it has been to wet to get on the ground. Charlock is becoming quite competitive with the crop in some small patches and will need to be controlled as soon as possible.

Charlock Infestation
Re-drilling Results

The re-drilling of patches of Claire winter wheat where the original seed had germinated and died in the dry autumn has turned out to be a great success. As with any patch re-drilling, it was very difficult to decide where to start and where to stop. Admittedly some small areas are now to thick, and some which we didnít re-drill are to thin, but on the whole these fields look surprisingly good considering their start to life.

Wheat drilled into a minimum tilled seedbed following spring beans where we suffered from quite a bad problem with cleavers last year has received its herbicide which is now taking effect on the weed showing up this year.

Cleavers Dying