rain dancing in devon

There are not many years when Devon farmers are looking for rain by mid April, but after an extraordinarily dry and bright month, with predominantly drying North and East winds, a bit of the damp stuff would be very welcome. The crops are hanging on and mostly looking well but you know that a few damp days would really make them jump.

The fields on the home farm can be irrigated but the water is applied too fast and is never as good as our gentle Devon drizzle. Our irrigation equipment is fairly basic, consisting of hose reels with a nozzle on the end which sweeps in oscillating arks across the field as it is wound in. The resulting large droplets falling on wet soil can easily destroy the delicate surface structure reducing it to a slurry which can then dry to form a hard