What’s happened in Winter 2015 / 2016…

Here is a quick follow up to the predictions that were posted on the website at the end of Autumn.

With such a late harvest and the extremely mild weather, we couldn’t help feeling that winter will feel very short this Year. This actually proved to be true as it was extremely mild up to Christmas although Spring did take time to finally warm up. This was a mixed blessing as even farmers need time for reflection and planning, the trees need a good cold snap to induce dormancy and they didn’t prune themselves!

At the time I wrote “Against a backdrop of extreme economic uncertainty in agriculture, much of our winter activity will reflected this, with some difficult decisions on the horizon” unfortunately this theme continues in spite of favourable currency changes, the race to the bottom on price continues! Other points I made are listed below in black, with the outcomes listed in red:-

Should we continue to grow cereals when prices have slumped lower than that in the 1980’s? No! We are planting a grass clover mix or maize

Following a Two year slump in Bramley apple prices and no signs of recovery, should we keep our trees? Many are being pulled out or re grafted!

Is it wise to continue with plans to extend the apple store? Scaled down scheme is still under scrutiny from the RPA

Can we manage all the pruning ourselves without the expense of contractors? Ionel & Eugen did a fantastic job with the help of Petri & Richard

We have some pear and birch trees to plant Pears Done

There is plenty of wood to gather for chipping to biomass Gathered into piles to dry

So overall it was a very productive winter but we still face a lot of changes.



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