The sun shone and the farm burst into life like spring bulbs
The sun came out from behind the clouds and it felt like we were coming out of hibernation. Every machine that had been sitting quietly in the back of the shed all winter got a run.
We went mad spreading fertiliser, spraying, spreading slurry, rolling, picking stones and set up the plough for spring barley. It was as if the farm just burst into life like a spring bulb.
Unfortunately, the crops didn't get through winter as well as they would normally. Everything looks stunted, short and discoloured. The cold ground is only just keeping them alive.
With little or no growth it is very difficult for the plant to utilise nutrients, even though we now have the fertiliser out. In theory, we should use a little and often.
However, unpredictable weather and expensive diesel makes this concept impractical.
The worst-looking crop is our winter wheat. We spread 0:7:30 at four bags per acre and 1.5 bags of 27pc nitrogen with 7pc sulphur. It will take about 10 days for the fertiliser to break down.
If the weather has warmed up a little by then, the plant can get the benefit. We purchased the 0:7:30 last autumn, when the plan was to spread it then when the ground was hard with frost.
However, the weather put paid to that notion.