June 2002                 Click here to go back to this year

For us, like most arable farms, June is a time when all the weeds that we never knew we had rear their ugly head. At Hadley Farm, wild oats have been a battle right from the point we took the land on in 1997. Back then, I recall one particular field of wheat which we sprayed with the chemical Topic to control wild oats. A fortnight later, large areas of the field started to turn yellow where their were more oats per meter than their was wheat! Since then Topic has proved its worth here, and this year we are starting to see the rewards with fields now showing few enough wild oats to be able to pull by hand.

Wild Oat
Bomford Cutlass 460

We’ve been topping our setaside which we don’t normally rotate. Its interesting to see the diversity of what grows on setaside after 4 to 5 years. We have been topping Elder, Buddleia and Thorn bushes all of which were about 2 feet high. I just wonder what it would look like if we left nature to her own devices? This year we have hired this Bomford topper from Ross Farm Machinery

Black Bean Aphid’s have been found on our Target winter beans which are about 6 feet tall. These will have to be controlled before they engulf the crop. An insecticide will be mixed with the second fungicide.

Black Bean Aphid
Slug

The weather towards the end of the month has bought good growing condition for our Jack Pot peas, which we will harvest dry for animal feed. They are now about 3’6” in height and the lower pods are developing fast.
Its also been ideal conditions for peas aphids which we have sprayed along with the fungicide.

On a damp evening, there are plenty of slugs to be found at the top of wheat plants like this one. In the worst case, I have seen probably 50% of the wheat ears inhabited by slugs.

Two questions spring to mind when I see this
1. Are the slugs doing any harm to the plant at this stage?
2. While they are so evident, is their any way to control them to reduce the number present post planting in the auturm?

Answers on an email to me at mick@rgknightandson.co.uk

Peas, mid flower
Spraying peas