We finished drilling spring crops on April 19, in ideal conditions with warm, dry weather. After getting roughly 150 acres sown between the last day of March and the first few days of April we then had two days of torrential rain which held us up for 10 days, and we didn’t get back to it again until April 12.

Having spoken to a few farmers from different parts of Scotland it seems the wet weather was pretty isolated to us in the north/north east, and although it was very inconvenient at the time, maybe in the weeks and months to come we will be glad of having had a few days of rain if forecasts of another drought are anything to go by.

Due to the weather, we didn’t do any pre-emergence herbicides this year on the spring barley, though we found that they haven’t actually been that effective for us the last two years with the dry springs we’ve had. Following drilling we moved onto applying potash and liquid fertiliser. After drilling everything with 360kg/ha of 10-15-21, we then applied 100kg/ha of 0-0-60 and 325l/ha of 22% N to the malting crops.

We are going to apply an additional 100kg/ha of 24-0-13 to the seed crops to give them an extra boost of N and K to help push yields. Last year, due to the dry weather, we had a lot of malting barley which was slightly high for nitrogen and therefore incurred price deductions and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this, so we are reducing the amount of nitrogen we are applying to the malting barley.

In total the malting barley will receive 123kg/ha (99 units/acre) N while the seed will get 149 kg/ha (119 units/acre) N. In relation to potash, our malting barley will receive 136kg/ha (108 units/ac) of K, while the seed will get 149kg/ha (119 units/ac) of K.

We have applied T1 timing fungicide to our earliest wheat crop, and will do the rest of the T1s within the next week.

Although cereal drilling is done we are still very busy as the carrot harvest has now started and usually goes on for about 6-8 weeks, depending on the weather, national consumption and how well the carrots are keeping in the ground. In addition to harvesting we are also bed tilling and drilling carrots at the moment, so it’s still all go.

Our lambing was quick this year with all ewes lambing in a 26-day period. It’s amazing how much work all the triplets must have caused us in previous years, and this year, with fewer threes born, the whole lambing process has been much less taxing, though I wouldn’t go as far as saying enjoyable…