Rainfall Creating Challenging Harvest Conditions in 2017
2017 has very much been a year of two halves up the start of August as far as rainfall is concerned. From January through to early May, there was an acute lack of rainfall in much of the UK with river levels reported as being at record low levels and the media fuelling speculation of impending water shortages. Crops were struggling on light land in many areas on account of lack of moisture and heavy land cracked and heaved as the ground dried out completely.
History suggests that nature always seems to have a way of balancing itself out and following on from many months of below average rainfall up to the springtime of 2017, the period of May – August 2017 has seen an abundance of rain with some prolonged, heavy and very regular bursts of rainfall throughout the summertime period.
The cereal harvest has been a snatch affair for many farmers with ultra long days being a necessity (when conditions have allowed) with combines and grain trailers getting stuck adding to frustrations. Unusual though it is for this time of year, many land drains & ditch systems have been running through out July and into August with soils at field capacity.
The result of all of this is that statistically, we are now in a position where the cumulative rainfall for the year is now slightly above the point where it should be (relative to long term averages) – meaning that the early drier winter/spring rainfall deficit has now been re-balanced by Mother Nature.
Seasonal weather patterns seem to be in an unusual place at the moment with summer time months regularly showing rainfall spikes over the last few years and causing problems in the countryside. The land drainage schemes we install are a tool that is available to manage excess water falling on agricultural land and aiding farm management decisions in the longer term. The schemes are also a proven way of improving soil structures and delivering long term higher yield potentials.
To find out how we can improve the land drainage credentials on your farm please get in touch on 01362 820371.