Dry weather at Driffield Monitor Farm

Due to real high pressure weather it has been very dry in East Yorkshire during the last few weeks, so all spraying is up to date. All T0s are on wheat, and second fertiliser applications are on second wheats, which are slowly starting to improve in colour.

We can really see where the biosolids were applied last autumn as the second wheat Relay looks more like a first wheat. It has already had 50kg of urea less per hectare and it may need a further reduction on the last dressing.

The OSR has now had all its fertiliser in the form of granulated urea applied in two splits, with the last one at green bud. It has also had a low dose of tebuconazole for light leaf spot. I also sent off my first sample of petals for testing for sclerotinia for the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds project with ADAS, to better predict the disease.

The only piece of land work we have done is to cultivate the stubble ready for vining peas – after our drainage contractor had finished putting extra drains in a 4ha field, which has been getting wetter for a number of years now. All he has done is dig out the old outfall, check it and infill between the existing laterals which were 22 yards apart with new ones. As soon as he had got a few done, my brother said you could tell the outfall was running faster.

When all the drains were filled in and the soil had dried, we were itching to try out our new chisel cultivator, which did a good job of mixing in the stubble and levelling the drains. The finish it left was a little open due to the high moisture content of the soil but we wanted to remove the drainer’s compaction and start the drying process.

After the field had dried for a few days, we had the chance to try out our new tractor and finish off the seedbed, tidying up the finish left by the chisel cultivator. The new tractor was more agile than our current big tractor and my brother did the whole field. It is now ready to drill when we get the drill back together – we are currently upgrading the following harrow to the new version.



Philip Meadley farms 250ha near Driffield, approximately four miles from the North Sea coast. In a four-way family partnership, he grows milling wheat, oilseed rape, peas and barley. Phil is particularly interested in soil health, reducing fuel usage, addressing mycotoxins and looking at his whole approach to cultivations. http://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/driffield