Struggling to get on with field work: Driffield Monitor Farm update

I am sat in the house after another wet morning watching the second wheat outside our window slowly growing. It has had two herbicides and one insecticide so far. We have all the T0 fungicides and growth regulators still in the spray shed as we are struggling to get on with any field work.

Luckily we have winter beans this year which we drilled with the Spirit, after the power harrow on top of ploughing, which just did dry sufficiently for us to get them in.

As this year a lot of people in our area are still waiting for dry conditions to drill spring beans.

We have got our cover crops sprayed off with glyphosate over 10 days ago, which may prove too early as we still keep getting large amounts of rain, as they will no longer suck any moisture from the soil to help dry it out ready to drill spring barley.

Before Easter weekend we set out our largest set of gib harrows ready to harrow level the headlands around the other field for spring barley which is just ploughed.

Usually we level up the headland furrow on a frost over winter but we hardly had any frosts.  The only one we did have which was hard enough was in February and I took the opportunity to put the first dressing of fert, 200 kg of Urea on one field of rape. This is in a field we are going to put some more drains in this Autumn. The strong land which is drained at 10 metres is working fine, but 50% of the rest of the field which is drained at 20 metres cannot cope with the volumes of rain we now seem to be getting and it stays wet between the drains and the second wheats.

We have now got all first dressings on the wheats and the best field of rape has had its final dressing – the first ever application we have variably applied – the other is still too wet to travel.



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.