Adopting and managing technology to keep us safe
It now appears that the major portion of spring sowing will be done over the Easter period. The upside is that the timing should coincide with a plentiful supply of extra help, with both school holidays and a long weekend for the part-timers providing some options.
However, it does bring extra safety concerns, given that most of the extra staff will be enthusiastic, but lacking in experience.
All workers must be briefed on safety issues. Be sure that everyone operating machinery is capable of doing so and that they are aware of the risks. The risk of mobile phones is well recognised for road users. However, they present a similar risk of farm operators, especially if they are working in tandem with other operators.
The temptation to ignore the risks posed by phones is heightened by the fact that they are frequently used to synchronise operations.
At the very least operators should confine phone use to the task in hand and stop activities while using the phone.
This year a novel unit has been launched by C First. It is called Traffi-Cam, which is a retractable camera that can be mounted on front-mounted equipment such as weights or furrow presses.
The idea is that it allows the driver to see both left and right before entering roads from areas with a restricted visibility. Check them out online for more.
Winter crops are making good progress. Most wheat this year has reasonably good disease resistance characteristics. However, Lion has a low score on rust. Cordiale is poor on septoria (4) while Einstein, Grafton and Kingdom are only marginally better at 5.