We’ve had fantastic growing conditions on the farm recently, after periods of rain as well as very warm days.
Being in Scotland we naturally have a cooler climate, but when we do get sunshine it’s amazing how quickly the crops jump through growth stages.
As well as the practical side of farming, we’ve been busy finishing our Sustainable Farming Review. We’re hoping to get the Leaf mark, which is a big goal of ours.
The RSPB came out to complete some surveys into corn buntings for our agri-environment scheme. They didn’t actually didn't find any, which is a bit annoying because we can see the boundary for them from our garden! We’re still going ahead with the application, so only time will tell. Corn buntings are quite rare in Scotland, and only really found on the east coast, so it’s always nice to see them on the farm.
And that hasn’t been the only paperwork we’ve been wading through – I’ve also been going through the succession process on my family farm, so I’ve become a tax expert. It feels like we’re finally getting somewhere now though – it has been a learning experience but everyone is happy. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to take over around harvest time, so there are busy times ahead.
We’re doing some trials with Corteva this year and are keen to see the results. It’s a bit early to come to any conclusions but we’re hopeful.
We’ve applied a nitrogen-stabilising product which delays the conversion of ammonium to nitrate, keeping more nitrate in the soil for longer. Samples have been taken every two weeks to monitor the progress.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a positive impact on yield. But we’re also excited about its potential for reducing nitrogen loss, as this will complement the environmental focus on our farm.
We’re also trying Univoq, Corteva’s new fungicide. It went on the wheat at T2, which is all about yield, and we followed it with a T3, which is all about quality, so we’re looking out for any visual differences in disease control now, and a yield response at harvest.
Watch this space for the results.
About Harriet & Ben: