Drought 2020

The Dry weather came I month earlier than 2018, which was a drought year as can be seen below saw not much grass from Mid-June till Mid-September.

This year, mainly due to lack of March-May rain and dry strong Easterly winds, as well as compacted soils found on some farms after a prolonged wet winter. The drought came at a time when grass growth should have maximised:

Source: https://ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/grass

As one of my clients commented: “It is becoming more regular. It is becoming a rule rather than an exception, hence do we need to plan for drought each year, and take a longer term view!”

Solutions are:

Irrigating: Here in Oxfordshire:

Cropping: Chicory, Festuloliums amongst others.

Increasing Soil Water retention by:

Increasing Pore space by late season Subsoiling and simultaneously increasing Organic Matter by keeping Ground covered in crops and reduce mechanical interactions leaving bare soils as in Ploughing and Power harrowing:

Herewith paragraph from Dr Christine Jones:  “Carbon and Catchments”:


Ideally should be doing all 3!

What each farmer does depends on each individual farm and manager and their ability and circumstances. We will endeavour to help out and support any project you want to enter into.