Duncan Farrington: Farmers’ moods can change like the weather

Farmers' moods can change with the weather, says Duncan
Farmers' moods can change with the weather, says Duncan

It’s amazing how a few consecutive days of dry weather completely changes one’s mood after the long wet winter.

Fields that were waterlogged on a Monday morning and looking more appropriate for planting rice than wheat were, by Thursday afternoon, dry enough to start thinking about preparing the soil to plant our spring crops.

From an impatient farmer’s perspective, spring arrived around the middle of March, since when we have been working continuously.

It is not just us, as all our neighbours are busy working away in their fields as everything appears to need doing at once.

The first job was to put some fertiliser on the autumn planted crops as soils warm up and day length increases, letting dormant crops realise it is time to start their long growth through spring.

To achieve this growth, crops, like humans, require good nutrition to grow healthily, which is gained from the soil and some extra plant food in the form of fertiliser.

Fertiliser applied, attention turned to crops that are not yet planted. Firstly the spring beans, which were planted in pretty much ideal conditions in the third week of March.

Next it is the spring wheat. This will take a bit longer to create an ideal seedbed, rather than rushing in just to get the job done quickly.

We have started cultivation in preparation for the wheat, but on our heavy clay soils they can change from mud pie texture to concrete in the space of 36 hours, meaning that a mixture of perfect timing, a bit of luck and working with nature rather than fighting it is the name of the game.

In addition to being busy on the farm, we also start thinking of the new season of shows in Farrington Oils.

Farrington’s Mellow Yellow is now 10-years-old and I have always enjoyed meeting customers at food shows, as they provide the perfect opportunity to explain to existing and potential customers why they may like to try our products.

The first show of 2015 will be the BBC Good Food Show in Harrogate.

We are currently putting the stand together in the office, making sure everything looks spick and span, ready to go, as well as making sure we can get it all in the back of a van to take to Yorkshire.

If you are going, we will look forward to seeing you there.

If not, then look out for us at other shows during 2015.