The autumn planting campaign has been a great success, with the majority of crops planted in ideal conditions and growing well, with the Winter routine almost upon us. I just have one field left to plant with wheat, which I have delayed to allow the weeds to grow first. These can then be easily killed off rather than trying to control them once a crop is established. With the recent rains over the last few weeks, if conditions don’t allow for autumn planting, the field will instead be planted with a spring crop once the soil dries out.

Once the main work is completed for another year on an arable farm, the machinery is cleaned down and given a pre-winter service before putting away for another year. We then sit down and take stock of how the previous year has gone. This last twelve months has not been fun in our case, thanks to the continued unfavourable weather throughout the crop year. The result has been that income is down 30%, which presents challenges in any business. However, the underlying business is sound and we have a good relationship with our bank manager who will stand by us for the next twelve months. On a brighter note, looking ahead, the prospects for next year are already looking much better and will hopefully get us back on course by December 2014.

While the farm side of the business may not have had a good year, I am pleased to report that Farrington Oils continues to do well. We have had several changes in staff over the last few months, which have given us a great opportunity to get some fantastic new blood into the company and build a very strong team. This was recently rewarded as we all attended the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards at the Derngate in Northampton. We were delighted to be nominated for three different awards and came away with two. A fantastic result made all the more enjoyable by sharing it with the team – who actually make it all happen. Such events are also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with and meet other county businesses to share and exchange ideas, as well as me being able to show off my moves on the dance floor at the end of the evening. Thank-you to all who organise and host the awards each year and to all of you who nominated Farrington Oils, it means a huge amount to us all at Bottom Farm.