Washout Spring Time Period

Spring 2018 has been a difficult period for many farmers across the UK.  At the time of writing, 30 of the last 40 days (in Norfolk) have had rain on them at some point.  Annual Rainfall totals in central Norfolk are already in excess of 200mm (up to April 10th) and and many other parts of the UK have endured significantly higher volumes of rainfall during the same period causing widespread flooding.  Yet again, the intensity of the rainfall events (when they have happened) has been a key future with large volumes of rain falling in a short space of time.

Springtime arable operations for many growers have been problematic and slow with drilling of spring crops around 1 month behind schedule at present.  With the signs of improvements in the weather finally on the horizon, farmers are now left to consider just how long it will take for soils to dry to acceptable level in order to allow machinery to physically travel and work on their farms.  Pictures of stuck machinery and struggling crops have dominated the farming media with very real implications and changes to cropping plans being forced to be considered at present.

All of this issue is largely created by the ongoing rainfall and inclement weather.  Whilst there is of course nothing that can be done by any farmer to stop it raining, there is the option of considering making improvements to drainage systems on farmland to help the fields recover more quickly post rainfall stopping.  The importance of owning well-functioning ditch systems, culvert and field drainage systems can rarely have been more significant and pronounced than is being exhibited at present with many farmers commenting to us that any investment that they have made in land drainage systems in recent years is likely to offer considerable pay back in this year alone.

Owning well maintained ditch systems and comprehensively drained farmland allows for the fields to recover from heavy rain and allows soil structure to be in better overall condition to receive the rainfall in the first place.  Investing in land drainage will:

  • Allow for better movement of the delicate mixture oxygen, nutrients and water around the root systems of your crop.
  • Allow for machinery to get on the land more quickly again once the rainfall has stopped.
  • Allow for soil structures to be in better overall condition to promote better conditions for the establishment of new crops.
  • Promote better and more uniform conditions in order for inputs such as sprays and fertilisers to work effectively.
  • Remove the constant wet damp conditions in which blackgrass thrives in which in turn leads to better blackgrass control.
  • Allows growers to operate in smaller work windows during a marginal season.
  • Delivers proven better long term yields – leading to better overall financial returns from your fields.

We undertake land drainage improvement works on a year round basis and the spring time is always a busy period for our teams installing new schemes through growing crops as well as designing new schemes in readiness for installation later in the year.  We have the very latest in modern tracked drainage equipment for working on delicate and wet soil types.

Spring 2018 is one that many will want to forget about.  However, many growers will take active steps to plan for the future by considering implementing better drainage systems on their farms to offer greater protection for when the next spell of wet weather arrives.  We are here to help you with implementing land drainage solutions on your farm to the highest possible standard to ensure that going forwards, your farm is better protected against the wet weather.