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July Diary

Oil seed rape desiccation started for us on the 25th June almost one month ahead of last year. We have got 30 hectares done of the Excalibur that was drilled on the 19th August, so the countdown to harvest is upon us. As the crops are ripening very evenly in the fields, we have not seen a real need for a ‘pod stick’ polymer spray in with the glyphosate to aid the prevention of pod shattering. As we get towards the last fields we may do some with it then to aid the combine if we were to get delayed harvesting. I hope that we can keep moving around the fields over a ten day period, which would then give us a steady flow of ripening ahead of the combine.  

Winter wheat crops look excellent and certainly hold a lot of potential for good yields and quality. The Crusoe milling wheat looks superb in the field producing a dark green ear and looks totally different to the other varieties. To aid the protein in the Crusoe we have gone for a late application of liquid nitrogen ‘Nufol’ protein plus that is being applied this week. I think it will be important this season as with increased yields the protein element in the crop will be diluted with good bushel weights. Tramlines are well rutted on some fields as they never dried out quick enough in the spring, before the endless stream of traffic, so the sprayer is constantly getting splashed with muddy water. Where they have dried out they have gone rock hard so the poor sprayer and operator get a rough ride. The challenger and sub-soiler will certainly have their work cut out levelling deep tramlines!

Plans for harvest 14’ have been made and provided it goes as well as it does in the office it should be a breeze! We have an additional member of staff, Bill Bromley, coming to work for us throughout the harvest and drilling period and we look forward to welcoming him as part of the team. We are still awaiting the delivery of our new John Deere S680i rotary combine, which having been used to straw walker machines should increase output significantly. The combine it replaced was a hill-master, and as this one is on tracks the only option is level land. The tracks handle the 9m cutter-bar better than a wheel by keeping the header much more stable in operation, as a wheel follows every rise and hollow in the field. Low ground pressure is an obvious advantage, but the reduced transport width from 3.6m on a wheel to 3.2m on tracks makes it much more manageable on the road. For more information please visit cookefarms.net.

   



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