'Driest Feb in 30 years' - Met Office
According to the Met Office ‘England had its eighth driest February in a series which goes back to 1836, and its driest since 1993, with on average just 15.3mm of rain falling in the month.’ The mild and dry conditions of February encouraged drilling of earlier spring crops and fertilising, soils were quick to warm. ‘UK having its joint fifth mildest February on record in a series which goes back to 1884.’
Figure 1 Met office February 2023 weather figures https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/press-office/news/weather-and-climate/2023/february-and-winter-stats
Spring Linseed and Canary seed drilling is fast approaching. Please ensure sufficient moisture is in the seedbed before drilling. April is becoming a dry month in recent years, following the early March snow some much needed moisture has been added. Where there is sufficient moisture drilling from mid-late March is advisable to get the crop established and away. This should correlate with soil temperatures hovering around the 8 degrees C mark, however remember soil moisture is more of a limiting factor then soil temperature. In the dry summer of 2022 crops drilled the end of March had a much higher establishment rate than April drilled crops. If the long-range forecast suggests April will be dry then March drilling is advised.
When establishing, best practise like avoiding heavy cultivations to dry out the soil; keeping a shallow drill depth (2-3cm or as shallow are your drill will place it) and a heavy, slow roll to consolidate/conserve moisture will give the best chances of a high establishment rate. This ultimately drives yield as you end up with more bolls per metre squared (units of production).
Those interested in growing Linseed and Canary Seed should visit our webpages for more information, and call our Sales team on 023 9263 2883.