Last weekend was the first time we could walk across the crops without pulling our boots through mud. However, it is too early to act as if we have come to the end of this constant period of continuous broken weather since last July.

All the cattle were brought back in after the deluge in the middle of last week and to give the ground a chance to recover, we kept them in over the dry weekend, but on Monday we were back to square one with a full day of cold rain.

The strong wind without rain had dried land out on the surface but any land freshly ploughed in the area has turned up in slabs. Nevertheless we will have to at least test underground conditions as soon as possible if we are to make a start on the gluten free oats.


We had hoped to direct drill the beans into the undisturbed wheat stubble but when we looked carefully at the field, we came to the conclusion that there were tramlines from last harvest that were too deep and that at a minimum, the field needs a good discing and some form of ripping up of the worst affected areas.

In these conditions of constant rewetting, every step forward is hard won. We have applied the herbicide to the volunteer beans in the seed wheat and it is already having an effect but as the crops sown in the autumn green up after the first split of nitrogen, it’s all too clear where the bare patches are going to stay bare.

Some may need remedial drainage work and some should free up with a cleaning of some ditches that have become blocked over the years. Either way, there are going to be reduced yields and land rehabilitation costs.

No fungicide or growth regulator has gone out on any of the cereals yet but ground conditions can recover quickly at this time of the year given any chance.