It never rains but it pours – typically just as the harvest kicks off and farmers were also catching up with hay making, the heavens opened.
It is not often that lawns are this green at the end of July. Everything is growing as if their very lives depended on it, which makes it hard to keep things tidy and weed free in the garden and utilise the extra grass which this year is in abundance in the fields.
It is either feast or famine down on the farm, and this year, in contrast to last, we are overwhelmed with a veritable feast. Sadly, the quality of the winter barley combined so far, could be better. The bushel weight is low with small grain size, despite there being plenty of them.
The wheat looks as if it has coped better with the dodgy spring, but time will tell.
As the weather patterns become more changeable with the wettest winter and hottest dry spring in 2019/2020, followed by another wet winter then cold dry spring, arable farmers have been drilling new hybrid varieties of wheat, barley and other arable crops hoping they will cope better.
There are varieties of drought-tolerant hybrid wheats like Hyking, which seem to be doing remarkably well as they have stood up to the challenging growing season. Let us hope we get to hear just how well they yield once they have been harvested.
Research and development is vital as seed merchants endeavor to provide the right seeds for the right climate, and importantly soil type.
It seems that the UK is now the envy of the world as the vaccines are rolled out to the masses including over 18s. Gradually life is returning to normal, despite the frustration to some individuals and companies having to cope with the ‘pingdemic’ and subsequent isolation.
It is clear the government’s policies are paying off as the numbers contracting COVID are in decline; 40 per cent down on last week. Fewer people are ending up in hospital, and those dying over the past week are also reduced.
The combination of the vaccine and testing seems to be doing the trick and is clearly saving lives. Despite the recent rise in numbers testing positive following the football and several other gatherings, particularly within the younger age group, some reported feeling unwell, but they recovered quickly.
The medical profession is cautiously optimistic that perhaps the ‘herd immunity’ predicted for later in the summer, has in fact arrived a few weeks early. If this is the case, we should be grateful to the Prime Minister, his team of ministers and the scientists who have made their way through this pandemic with its unpredictable labyrinth.
Sometimes they have had to backtrack when they recognized a dead end, but they have been willing to press on despite the constant criticism, doing their best to keep the population as safe as possible.
There is certainly an incentive to get the country vaccinated as it will open doors to events, holidays and even nightclubs, and allow businesses to regain momentum.
It seems the ‘anti-vax brigade’ are being proved increasingly wrong much to their annoyance. However, they are still pursuing their agenda to prevent people who want to protect themselves, their families and their community accepting the vaccine.
Health workers and volunteers running front-line vaccination hubs in London, Brighton and other centers are being verbally and physically abused, and their buses and centers vandalized by the ant-vaxxers. They are a tiny minority but cause increasing numbers of incidents which is intolerable and pointless.
When opinionated individuals like Piers Corbyn try to impose their crackpot ideas on the masses by preventing them reaching lifesaving vaccines, they should be locked up.
To read Carola’s columns in full, go to: www.carolagodmanirvine.com