There is a great sense of satisfaction, when you hear the rain beating against the window, knowing that you have the crops in the ground.
The soil conditions this year were fantastic. As a farmer you want to give your crops the best start that you can but most years that's just not possible.
The only complaint I could make is that the ground was so dry that we went through a lot more plough parts because the wear was that much worse in the dry soil.
It was a small price to pay to get the crops sown in such good conditions. When I compare it to 2012, we finished 12 days ahead this year. But, then, 12 months ago we had very wet and difficult sowing conditions.
The oilseed rape is now very thick and has a very good canopy to see it through the winter.
Hopefully this will keep the pigeons off it. Although we had sprayed off the volunteer barley, there is still some peeping through.
The oilseed rape has also received its first spray for light leaf spot and aphids, Prosaro at 0.8l per ha and sumi alpha at 1l per 6ha.
The reason we went with Presaro is that it contains folicur as a growth regulator, as well as the fungicide, to help strengthen the plant.
The six-row barley (Volume) which we sowed at 6st per acre is well up. The Cassia two-row, which we sowed at 11st per acre, is not far behind.
We got all the fields rolled this year so the crops look great at the moment.
We sowed winter wheat before we put in the barley this year. The reason for this is that the field that we were putting it in is usually a wet and cold field that can be hard to till.
When conditions were so good this year we had to try and get it in as soon as we could. Normally we would have to disk the top of the ploughing in that field and two others to break it up enough to till properly.
This year with the front power harrow and the dry clay, the seed bed was as close to perfection as we could ask for.
The new winter wheat varieties we are using this year include Ferrari, Kielder and Lumos – along with JB Diego and Avatar, which we grew last year.
Ferrari is a variety that we saw at the Drummond's field day during the summer. It looked very impressive in the trial plots. It had very long heads with big grains.
Hopefully, it will be as good in a field test. Kielder did well in trials in Britain so we are taking a bit of a chance trying it here.
Conditions in Britain are closer to ours than the trials in Europe, which don't have the same disease pressure we get.
We were also trying to look at the difference in wheat seed dressing. Some got Kinto and some got Redigo.
In such good conditions and with the soils 2C warmer this year, germination certainly wasn't a problem. It is impossible to see any difference using two different seeds.
Helen and Philip Harris are tillage farmers in Co Kildare. Email: email@example.com Twitter: P&H Harris@kildarefarmer