Bycott Farm Diary April 2023
It’s been a year of weather extremes so far here in North Devon. We experienced the driest February on record closely followed by the wettest March. April has been hit and miss too; we could certainly do with a sustained dry spell.
Luckily, we decided to make the most of the window of opportunity that February’s unseasonal weather provided. Having walked the fields, we decided to go early and applied liquid fertiliser. We couldn’t quite believe we were out there; this is the first February ever that we have been able to do such.
There’s not much to say about March. Fast forward to April and we’ve applied T1 fungicides to our winter barley, winter wheat and winter oats. On wheat in particular we’re focusing on treating Septoria Tritici. We’ve also fed a Foliar potash trace element to all crops, as leaf samples were showing deficiencies.
Our hybrid winter barley is looking well, it’s likely that awns will be emerging during early May. If the ground continues to dry we’ll be out cultivating and drilling for spring oats anytime soon.
In between the showers the farm has been alive with wildlife. I’ve noticed plenty of hares racing across the fields and I’ve also spotted plenty of deer tracks, but the deer have kept themselves hidden from view.
When you consider the weather patterns from February to April, the farm is looking as well as it has ever looked. What our crops desperately need now is a good dose of sunshine. Don’t we all!
Matthew Alford is our Agronomist, and has been working with us since 2019.
Before his current role with Agrii, Matthew gained extensive experience using Bateman Sprayers and spent 5 years contract spraying at Bycott Farm.
You can read a full interview with Matthew here ››