We have seen lovely weather in April and so far in May, with sunny, often warm days and the occasional splash of rain – just enough to keep crops green and growing.

We had one day of torrential all day rain on Saturday, May 9, which has really helped the crops, but definitely did not help that day’s carrot harvesting efforts!

The winter wheat is very patchy, with some fields looking quite good, while wetter fields are showing strain. Poor rooting due to the wet weather won’t be doing crops any favours now that water is in short supply.

One field was drilled after carrots and it looks like quite a lot of nitrogen is being used trying to break down the straw in the soil, which is stopping it from being taken up by the crop, so we have given it an extra bit of nitrogen to try and boost it.

So far. the majority of the wheat has received 185kg/N/ha, with the crop post carrots having received 205kg/N/ha. We have applied both T0 and T1 to wheat crops, and will be getting on with herbicide and trace elements to the spring barley in the coming week or two.

We got our cover crops drilled and rolled in really good conditions during the last week of April so it will be interesting to see them come through to assess if our change in seed mix and establishment makes any difference to the crop biomass.

Lambing ended well with a good crop of lambs, although with a lot more triplets than last year, so there’s a fair selection of pet lambs. We continued to the end of lambing with only one trip to the vet and a couple of prolapses which really is a record.

Removing draff and hay from the ewes’ diet and replacing with high quality dry silage/haylage and hard culling seems to have made the difference in reducing prolapses which is something we have had ongoing issues with the past few years.

My husband said that it would take a crisis for the public to appreciate UK food and farming, and how essential we were if something major happened to disrupt global supply chains. I think he envisioned more a US/Chinese/Russian/North Korean/Iranian nuclear stand-off impacting oil and food imports, but it just shows you should be careful what you wish for!

As supermarkets return to a new socially distant normal and stock piling eases, it’s interesting to see if his theory is proven or not. I certainly think at the beginning of lockdown there was a huge appreciation for food when people could no longer access their usual basics with ease via the supermarket.

This boosted sales at farm shops and from farm direct sales, as well as sales of local produce in independent butchers, greengrocers and village shops, as people rushed to secure food as the reality of going hungry if they continued to rely on the supermarket set in.

I hope people continue to buy direct from farmers as things stabilise in the world, and that the convenience of the supermarket all-in-one big shop doesn’t become too tempting now shelves are stocked as normal. How we can stop consumer regression back to old habits is something as an industry we need to consider and action rapidly.

We need to continue to ensure UK agriculture is appreciated by the public and that it is not discarded under the stairs by the consumer, along with the 60 spare toilet rolls they bought, only to be dusted down again when there’s another global ‘skitter storm’...

It was encouraging to hear George Eustice praising farmers and agricultural workers, both those working now and those who fed Britain during the Second World War at the Downing Street press conference on VE Day.

I’m extremely proud of everyone in our industry at the moment – give yourselves a pat on the back. This week, I’m particularly proud of my dad and all those working with him at the carrot harvest and drilling of next year’s carrot crop.

They are often to be found working very long days in horrendous conditions, both weather-wise and other, to ensure the UK public have the nutritious food they need to keep them healthy during this time of great global distress and suffering – thank you!