The Farming Column with Sam Walton

This field was half prepared for winter barley but now it is too wet.
This field was half prepared for winter barley but now it is too wet.

As September left us, the weather had not improved and twice we had a go to prepare a 20 acre field for winter barley, and each time we did that it rained enough to stop us finishing the preparation and of course to drill it.

I can’t remember the weather ever being so frustrating at this critical time.

No doubt we will get it in at some stage, but earlier the better at this time year and as I have mentioned before, longer in bed, heavier in head!

At the time of writing, I still have 35 acres of barley straw rotting in the fields.

Each time the baler was due a shower appeared and then the Heavens opened. The straw will not last in baleable condition for ever and may have to be chopped up and ploughed in.

Had we known it could have been chopped by the combine but we did not expect the deluges we have had. Looking round the World it seems that there are floods everywhere.

We must have done something wrong somewhere along the line and if we only knew what we were going to get and when, we could have a Utopia.

Of course there are those who think that farming is a Utopia! If only they knew.

Having said that, the weather is one of the reasons which makes farming interesting yet at the same time so frustrating.

Other things which make farming so tricky at times is the ever increasing red tape.

Pernickety civil servants who scrutinise our every move and every return we send in which has anything to do with maps or environmental schemes, all add to the frustration.

Perhaps I should go and farm in France as somehow agriculture is important to them and I have seen a lot of things there which would have been jumped on here.