John and his combine emerged from the barn eager to get started on the winter barley; only to return a couple of hours later!
The crop was ready but the Glyphosate has taking its time to desiccate the Mayweed. The crop was not sprayed with a pre-emergence due to the onset of rain in September which continued until March.
It seems it has been ‘summer’ for months. During the long, hot and dry spring we got used to waking each morning with the sun streaming through bedroom windows and not a cloud in the sky. We quickly became accustomed to knowing the weather was set fair day after day.
Without doubt the beautiful spring suited the crowds of walkers out on their daily exercise during ‘lockdown’. However in truth it did not suit us farmers. During April and May we prefer a mixture of sunshine and showers to keep the crops and pastures watered, and the earth warm to encourage freshly sown seeds to swell and germinate, and everything else to gather strength and grow like Billy-o.
Instead the combination of the drought and excessive heat did little to encourage anything to grow, other than the crowds out on their daily exercise.
Now we could do with some settled weather to complete hay making and prepare to harvest arable crops. Despite the odd shower, there is still precious little grass to mow, let alone for the cattle to graze.
The grass fields need rain, but the arable crops which are now almost ready to harvest don’t! As ever we farmers are never satisfied and will always find something to moan about!
It is encouraging to see the majority of the public going about their business wearing face masks. There was a sense that people were beginning to become complacent, believing the pandemic was over and the threat of catching Corona Virus had receded.
Clearly it has not, and by encouraging the wearing of masks, if nothing else, they are a stark reminder that we cannot return to ‘normal’, but must remain vigilant.
The use of disposable masks is a problem as they are being dumped all over the place. We find them in our fields, along the roadsides and no doubt dustbins are full of them. Not only could they spread disease, they are also an environmental hazard. Having only just reduced the scourge of plastic waste, these masks, previously used only by medics, are creating an additional scourge.
Reusable masks are the answer and should be adopted. Not only are they more practical and fun, they also stop us posing as fake doctors, nurses and care workers.
Looking around the world to countries like Australia, Spain and India, all of which thought they had the disease contained, it is concerning to see they are experiencing isolated but significant surges in Corvid 19. Alarmingly in the USA, Brazil and other South American and African countries, the original daily toll continues to escalate.
We should be grateful that between the Prime Minister and his medical and scientific advisers, they are monitoring the national and international situation closely, and reacting swiftly and decisively. They are taking action which will hopefully prevent further significant outbreaks.
It will be interesting to see, when the dust eventually settles, just how substantial the discrepancy is between those who have died as a direct result of catching the virus, and those who already had serious underlying health issues, including being diabetic due to severe obesity. And, the very old who probably should have been allowed to die anyway.
I suspect the answer will surprise many, particularly those so eager to criticise Boris and his advisers.