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A WORD FROM…Luke Collier

April 2020

The 2019/2020 season has been a tough one to say the least. In some areas farmers have received just the right amount of rain and their crops look fantastic! In other areas they are flooding and in others they are still gripped by drought. Farming is tough! 

With all of the climatic and economic challenges out there we need to continuously improve our yields and better our practices to keep our heads above water, and the bank manager happy! However, farming does tend to work in cycles, with both good years and bad years. It is up to us as the farmer to be as consistent as possible so that we can reduce the fluctuations of those cycles as much as possible. 

This time of year, I like to reflect on the season that has passed, to try and determine where I could have improved. Whether it be a land that had poor germination, or poor land preparation I ask myself what I could have done better. We need to get into the habit of trying to improve our yields and farming practices every year, I have seen many farmers happy with mediocre yields or crops and eventually they get left behind. The margins in farming are so slim now days that we cannot afford to accept an average crop; we need to do everything in our power to produce the best we possibly can.

This time of reflection does not mean sitting on the couch with a cup of tea admiring your garden! It means spending time in your fields, having a look at where you could have sprayed better or drained your field better. During this time of reflection, you need to get out there and have a good look at your crops to see areas that can be improved upon. The climate is not something that is in our control, however calibrating a planter properly or planning a better spray programme is in our control. If we can improve in those areas year on year our crops can only get better.

Good luck and we will see you in the fields!

Publication: April 2020

Section: Pula/Imvula