Springing back after an awful autumn
BETTER spring weather could help arable farmers recover some of the ground they lost last autumn.
Crop farmers, such as Graham Hodgson, of Hollin Hall West, near Gainford, are describing the past year as “awful” with drilling in at the back end of 2019 well down on previous years.
He said: “The weather in autumn was awful.
“I drilled about half the acreage I would normally. The wheat planting was hit hard.
“It is just something that happens.
“We see this every ten year or so.”
To make up for the lost wheat, he is currently planting spring barley.
Mr Hodgson added: “The returns will be down because there is less return on spring barley than winter wheat.”
Crops grown over 300 acres of Hollin Hall West include wheat, barley, oil seed rape and oats.
With no winter wheat planted in the field he was working when the Mercury called, Mr Hodgson was ploughing up last year’s “volunteer oats” from the previous crop.
On the positive side, he said working solely with crops and having no livestock to take to market meant the coronavirus pandemic was having very little impact on his routine and it is “business as usual” – with the exception of his usual trip down to the pub.
However, having just returned from a skiing trip on March 14, two days before all the resorts in Austria were shut, he suspects he may well have had the infection already.
He said: “I had a really nasty cough, like they have described. I felt a bit groggy, but I had no temperature.”
The symptoms have since gone.