Sunday, 4 March 2012

Spring Barley Being Planted

We've started drilling our spring barley crop this year about a week earlier than last year up on the top of Bredon Hill.  The weather has been a bit frustrating with the hill covered in cloud for a couple of mornings stopping the fields drying and almost wetting them again.  With only 21mm of rainfall in February I thought the fields might be a little drier.  Some fields have come out of overwintered stubble as part of our Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.  This means that we can't do anything to the fields until after the 15th February.  They are left untouched to see if they will provide winter seed for birds and also a nice stubble for great habitat for hares to live in.  The fields were cultivated once with our Vaderstad Topdown before being drilled.  We are planting Concerto with variable seed rates across the fields depending on soil type.  More seed is being put on the parts of the field that are very stony or heavier, where the seed losses are higher, and less seed is being planted on the better parts of the field where the seed losses are less.
We've had some rain today so we'll have to delay the drilling until after the weekend when hopefully we can carry on and get the crop planted into warm damp soil.  The Concerto is all contracted to the Molson Coors Growers Group and will end up in a pint of Carling or Worthingtons later this year or next.

No comments: