Wet Autumn offering rapid payback on drainage investment

In early October, the weather patterns shifted dramatically after a comparatively balmy September period which had seen plenty of sunshine and warmth.  As we head towards the end of the year and Christmas, conditions have turned from being dry and dusty to incredibly wet. Many locations in East Anglia recording between 3 and 4 times their long term average rainfall for that period.  Totals of between 150mm and 200mm have been widely recorded and whilst November has not generated quite as much cumulative rain, the rain that has fallen has simply topped up what has occurred before it.

The results of all of this from a farming perspective have not been pretty. Many fields destined for wheat production have not been drilled.  Maize, potato and sugar beet harvests have been a real challenge with equipment getting stuck.  And all the time, the rains have continued meaning that the ground has remained saturated throughout this time.  The autumn crops which have been drilled have had challenging conditions to establish amongst and any areas where existing drainage credentials are sub optimal, there has been surface water flooding in the fields.

Such weather creates significant stress for those involved in crop production and ultimately has the effect of lowering farm incomes as crops either fail or yield on an ineffective basis as a result of the difficult establishment conditions.  The land drainage schemes that we install in farms can help to mitigate against the impact of severe rainfall events such as the weather systems we have seen hitting the UK throughout Autumn 23.  The schemes help to shift excess water quickly once the rainfall stops – meaning that crops are not left growing in anaerobic soil conditions on an ongoing basis.  Windows for arable operations are wider on drained land and soils are able to recover more quickly.  In years like this one, our schemes can be the difference between harvesting a potato crop – or not.  The drains can also make the difference between getting a wheat crop drilled – or not.  Land Drainage investment typically lasts for a minimum of 20-25 years with many schemes going on to last far longer.  Our clients have reported that some of the schemes they have done recently will go a long way to paying for themselves in a single year – given how wet the autumn has been.  To find out more about how our schemes can produce improved yields and mitigate against wet autumns like this year, please give us a call on 01362 820371.