By Peter Lundgren, The Farmer
Happy New Year!
I never know what I think about the New Year celebrations. On the one hand I’m a bit depressed because I can’t help thinking that I’m not finished with the old year yet and time is flying by too quickly; on the other hand I’m happy at the thought that the long dark days of winter will be coming to an end and the promise of spring is just round the corner.
And we’ve got moles in the field of wheat! Like so many things in farming moles are a mixed blessing – on the plus side they’re an indication of healthy soils supporting lots of earthworms for the moles to feed on; on the minus side the molehills smother some of the crop and bring weed seeds to the surface. And they are industrious little beggars! In the picture you can see normal sized molehills in the foreground and a mole citadel further away. These citadels stand about 18ins to two feet tall and contain above ground runs and living quarters for the moles.
Storm Frank passed with a bad rainstorm and ferocious winds but fortunately no damage. Living at just 1 metre above sea level I’m thankful that the water levels in the dykes and rivers around here are actively managed by the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Boards. Yes I have to pay the EA and IDBs to have the water levels on my farm managed and water pumped away but looking at the horrendous images of damage and flooding in other parts of the country its money well spent. Maybe the model of locally managed internal drainage boards with funding from landowners and local authorities would help in other parts of the country.