October 2003              Click here to go back to this year

Having completed the ploughing and planting of land at Casterton with Carat Winter Barley on the 30th Sept, all this ground plus the Oil Seed Rape receives an application of Phosphate and Potash fertilizer.

Spreading P & K Fert
2 Months difference germination date

Since planting our Oil Seed Rape nearly 2 months ago, total rainfall in that time has probably  totaled only 25mm. This has led to two distinct grow stages. That which went into moisture grew from the start and is now well established where as seed which didnít find moisture when planted only germinated 3 weeks ago and is still at the 4 leaf stage.  

25th, and still we havenít had any useful amount of rain at Hadley since the third week of July. As far as I can find out, this is the driest autumn in living memory. Three months without rain is taking its toll on the farm. First wheat drilled in the first weeks of September looks particularly sick. What has emerged is showing signís of yellowing under the stressful conditions, and has not grown for the past month. Bare patches on the heavier parts of the fields have been reseeded as there seems little hope that the germinated and shriveled seed will ever grow. Second wheat drilled in the third week of September still lies in a dry seedbed in just the same way as when we drilled it, so we are still holding on to the hope that this will spring into life when rain does eventually fall. Sorry about the lack of a photo, but I canít find anything to inspire me to get the camera out!