Black-grass: saving the worst until last

Just to give an update on the farm: we drilled our last wheat, Dickens, into our worst black-grass  field on Wednesday 26 October. This went into a seedbed which was created by the Sumo LDS with narrow points due to very dry conditions, followed by the Alpego cultivator and the left to green up before being sprayed off just before drilling.

The field was rolled on Sunday followed by Avadex and a pre-emergence  of Vigon and PDM on Monday.

Winter beans were drilled on Monday into ploughing, with all the heavy land rolled on Sunday as soon as the rollers would run, to crush down the furrows and create a tilth with the front cross-bourd. I did lift out the drill coulters and worked down the worst of the heavy clay where the rain had not quite done enough this was then drilled and sprayed with propyzamide and PDM.

We also just  had our first Monitor Farm meeting today, and it was a well-attended meeting on a very cold day.

We had Liz Stockdale  from Newcastle University on cover crops and soil. She didn’t bore us with power point but asked the audience what questions they had and then set about answering them all, which in the process created more questions.

After the session inside we all walked down to our stubble turnips, dug some holes and had a look at our soil and turnips. This again created more debate before we returned to the farm for summing up and lunch.

November meeting at Driffield Monitor Farm




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.

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