Scorching summer bringing early harvest
Summer 2018 has been one that will be long remembered. At the time of writing, East Anglia has had 50 days without any rain at all and this week has seen the mercury tip well over 30 degrees on consecutive days. The drought this summer has stressed crops very badly and many of our customers in the fresh produce sector have serious concerns about running out of irrigation water in the coming days. And at the moment, we haven’t even reached August.
With many growers are well into harvesting wheats already, things look set for the earliest ever finish to harvest in the south – providing that Mother Nature doesn’t suddenly do an about turn and start to repay some of the rainfall deficit from the last couple of months.
With all of this talk of a tinder dry Australian style countryside in the UK, it is easy to forget that the winter and spring just gone were up there with one of the wetter springs we have experienced in recent years. So much so, that spring drilling was delayed for many and soils remained very difficult to travel on until the very late stages of spring in many parts of the country.
With this in mind, our drainage teams have been out in force over the last few weeks kicking off our summer time work program. Our ditching teams are working on projects to restore and revive tired ditch systems to prepare them for the new land drainage schemes which are scheduled to be installed behind them. We’ve also been busy doing a number of earthworks projects, amalgamating old fields together as well as addressing problematic low areas in arable fields to ensure that there is adequate levels of cover in place for our new drainage schemes to be installed.
The land drainage teams themselves have been flat out, putting in new land drains complete with gravel backfill on a diverse and broad ranging set of projects ranging from schemes over just a few acres right the way through to whole field schemes on a much bigger scale. Surprisingly, many of the drains we have out in have quickly started to run – which is incredible when thinking about just how dry the conditions are at ground level.The coming months see our teams completing projects on farms across the UK and so if you have a drainage project you would like to get done, do give us a call and our survey team will be pleased to put a proposal together for you to consider. Whilst the continental summer is providing some extraordinary conditions in the countryside, the reality that rainfall in the UK seems to have an uncanny knack of balancing itself out over a 12 month period remains apparent for many farmers.
Safe harvesting everyone and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts – it certainly won’t stay dry forever!