While it was the first continuous settled spell since last October, it imposed a heavy workload as we tried to use every hour. The most time sensitive crops of gluten free oats and beans were sown. As I said last week, we direct drilled the beans into winter wheat stubble that we loosened up and levelled.

After sowing, we rolled it, gave it some P and K and a pre-emergent herbicide and closed the gate. I was tempted to attempt direct drilling the oats in the same way after a discing to loosen up the soil and cut the volunteer vegetation, but with a good forecast, we decided to plough and go in with the one pass.

It was the right decision. After all the rain, it ploughed up far better than I expected. Instead of saturated looking slabs of clay, in the main we had a crumbly tilth ready to sow immediately.

We seem to have slightly underestimated the seeding rate as we ran out of seed when we went round the headland, but full marks to our supplier who sourced a few bags from another gluten free grower. We then moved on to the small amount of ground we had earmarked for winter wheat last autumn.

We were willing to stick with winter wheat until late February but never got a chance and finally, we have ended up sowing it with the final option of spring barley – late but not outrageously so. At the same time, we are having to keep abreast of the disease pressures in the crops.


On the cattle side, this has been the first time this year that we have been able to get out on the grazed paddocks, with slurry, without leaving unacceptable tracks.

This, of course has meant that we have been tempted to let the slurry build up in the tanks which has left them difficult to agitate. However, we added in a lot of yard water and hopefully are now fully in control of the slurry for the rest of the season.

The next major application will be after the first cut of silage, but we will keep applying a light slurry dressing after each grazing.

The aim is to still take our first cut at the end of May/early June depending on the weather, we want to keep up the quality and get back on track.

Outside, the young stores have settled in well to being out day and night, and despite going into stronger covers than normal, are cleaning out paddocks well.