With the Met Office now declaring that this winter has been the wettest on record, we have faced a number of challenges to the coming harvest.
Last autumn we benefited from the 'Indian Summer' and managed to get most of the late autumn and early winter crops into the ground when we needed to. Whilst we haven't had the frosts that we would usually like to kill of pests and crop diseases, the milder winter meant that the crops had advanced before the wet weather came in. Our big fear when we have a period of extend rain is that seeds will rot in the ground. Once they have germinated there is still a danger of the seedlings getting flood rot, however our biggest worry is that the rain will wash away both the nutrients and the organisms in the soil that we as farmers rely on to make the earth so healthy.
The final challenge that we now face is moving the crops forward - both crops that still need to be planted and those that are in the ground. Until we have had a few days of dry weather to let some of the water percolate away we will be unable to get onto the ground with our machinery. So now we wait and cross our fingers!