31 May 2024

Summer Agricultural Contracting: Warm Weather on the Farm

sun setting over field of crops

As the seasons change, so do the demands placed upon farmers. Summer, a favourite season for many, brings a unique set of challenges and opportunities for farmers.

Agriculture is highly weather-dependent, and us Brits know that we can’t always predict whether we’ll see rain or shine.

This uncertainty can be daunting, but with the help of a contract farmer, you can navigate these challenges easily and seize the opportunities that summer brings. Let’s explore summer on the farm and how a seasonal farming partnerships can make all the difference – whatever the weather.

Summer agricultural contracting tasks: A comprehensive overview

Seasonal agriculture demands careful planning and diligent execution. Here’s a snapshot of the essential tasks that keep the farm thriving in the warmer months:

  • Planning
  • Soil testing
  • Fertiliser application
  • Crop planting
  • Pest management
  • Crop monitoring
  • Haymaking and silage
  • Irrigation
  • Harvesting
  • Preparation for the next season

Now, let’s explore how contract farming services can provide the expertise and support needed to ensure your summer farming season is not only productive but also efficient and stress-free.

May: Before the summer starts

Strategic planning

Farming in the summer starts with strategic planning, which becomes crucial for maximising productivity and ensuring crop health. This means choosing crops that can withstand your region’s hotter temperatures, considering factors like heat tolerance, water requirements, and pest resistance. Effective planning also includes preparing for efficient use of resources and anticipating potential challenges the weather might throw at you.

Partnering with a contract farmer can be a game-changer during this stage. Contract farmers bring a wealth of expertise and experience, providing invaluable advice on the best crop varieties for your climate and soil conditions. They can help you create a tailored planting schedule and resource management plan, ensuring you’re fully prepared to make the most of the summer season.

Soil testing

Before planting your summer crops, conducting thorough soil testing is essential. Assessing soil quality and nutrient levels helps you understand current conditions and identify any deficiencies, ensuring you choose the best crops for your soil and set the stage for a successful harvest.

Investing in a professional soil sampling service can make all the difference. At AWSM Farming, we provide precise soil testing to reveal nutrient levels in your soil. Using a satellite-guided handheld GPS unit, we create an accurate GPS soil map of your land. Our detailed report pinpoints sample locations, ensuring a true representation of your soil’s condition.

With this information, you can take steps to improve soil health, such as adding organic matter, adjusting pH levels, or applying the right fertilisers. This proactive approach ensures your soil is well-prepared, creating an optimal growing environment for your crops and getting the most from your summer harvest.

Fertiliser application

In May, fertilising and spreading manure on your crops is essential for providing the necessary nutrients for optimal growth. Proper fertilisation supports healthy plant development and maximises the productivity of your summer harvest – a top priority for all farmers!

Contract farmers bring in the expert machinery needed to get this job done right. Our professional team of contractors uses a KRM Bogballe Spreader for fertiliser application. This allows for variable rate application, ensuring your crops receive the precise nutrients they need for the highest yield possible. Owning and operating this type of machinery can be expensive and complicated, so it’s best to trust those who know what they’re doing to get the job done efficiently.

crops growing on farm in summer

Additionally, using agricultural contracting services for manure spreading can greatly improve soil fertility and get your fields ready for the summer months. Hiring seasonal farm workers is both cost-effective and efficient, as it leverages their expertise to enhance the benefits of digestate. Experienced contractors understand which type of digestate to use, ensuring your soil is in the best condition for a productive season.

June: Planting summer crops


As May transitions into June, it’s time to kick off the summer planting season according to your strategic plan. Start by sowing the seeds of the carefully selected crops, ensuring they have the best chance to thrive. Throughout the planting process, keep a close eye on soil moisture, temperature, and weather forecasts, making necessary adjustments to plant the seeds in optimal conditions for germination and early growth.

This is where summer contract farming services truly shine. With the support of experienced contractors, you get access to advanced equipment and expertise that ensure precise planting and monitoring. They can tweak planting techniques based on real-time conditions, setting your crops up for success right from the start.

June to August: Crop maintenance and management

Weed control and pest management

Summer months demand vigilant weed control and pest management to keep your crops healthy and thriving. Implement strategies like mulching, mechanical weeding, and herbicide application to combat weeds. For cool-weather crops, use shade nets or controlled shading to shield them from the intense heat, ensuring their continued health and productivity.

Contract farmers such as AWSM Farming are an invaluable resource during this time. Our specialised knowledge and resources mean we can execute proven weed and pest control strategies, helping you maximise your crop yields all summer long. Let us worry about the pesky pests, so you can focus on your business.

Crop monitoring

Throughout June to August, keep a close eye on your crops for any signs of stress or nutrient deficiencies. While warm, dry weather is ideal for many vegetables, too much sun can be bad. To protect your plants from the scorching summer sun, an agricultural contractor can set up shade tunnels or spread mulch to conserve soil moisture.

Regular inspections are crucial – look for symptoms of drought stress, disease, or nutrient imbalances (or make sure your contractor is on top of it!). Any issues spotted, see to them quickly by adjusting irrigation schedules, applying the necessary fertilisers, and implementing effective pest control measures. Proactive crop monitoring and timely interventions are essential to maintain optimal growth and achieve a good yield during the summer season.

June to August: Silaging, haymaking, irrigation

Haymaking and silage collection

Summer demands a keen focus on maintaining silage collection and storage activities to sustain your livestock. Consistently cutting forage crops and storing them in silage clamps preserves their nutritional richness for winter feeding. Once collected, baling the silage for long-term storage becomes paramount, protecting it from spoilage and securing a high-quality feed supply for the colder months.

In the haymaking process, timing is everything. With AWSM Farming’s contract services, you can keep on top of these efforts. Our expertise and efficiency in silage collection and haymaking guarantee your farm’s feed requirements are met with ease.

Efficient irrigation practices

Efficient irrigation practices are essential for keeping your crops looking healthy during the summer. With advanced systems like drip or sprinkler irrigation delivers water directly to the root zones, you can reduce waste and improve moisture efficiency. This is particularly crucial for moisture-sensitive crops like potatoes, ensuring optimal growth and yield.

sun setting over field of crops

In drought-prone regions, effective water management is paramount. Continuous monitoring of soil moisture levels and timely adjustments to irrigation schedules are vital for maintaining optimal growing conditions. At AWSM Farming, we’re here to stay on top of it for you, so you don’t have to. We offer cutting-edge irrigation solutions and pest management strategies, empowering farmers to optimise water use and safeguard their crops, ensuring peak productivity all summer long.

July to August: Harvesting

Combine harvesting

As July and August roll around, it’s prime time for combine harvesting, especially for cereal crops like barley and maize. This period is critical for crop harvesting when they’re at their peak quality, making timely and efficient harvesting a non-negotiable.

With combine harvesters in action, farmers can swiftly gather crops, preserving their quality and getting the most out of your yield. However, proper scheduling and maintenance of harvesting equipment are essential to avoid delays and losses.

When it comes to harvesting, efficiency is key. That’s where our team of AWSM contractors comes in. Skilled in operating heavy machinery, they ensure efficient coverage of vast land areas in record time. Plus, with our agricultural machine hire services, you have access to additional machinery precisely when needed, without the burden of long-term ownership costs.

Preparation for next season

As the harvest season picks up pace, there’s no time to kick back and relax—it’s all about gearing up for what’s next! That means diving into the groundwork for the upcoming planting cycle. We’re talking about ploughing and cultivating those fields to perfection, setting the stage for next year’s cereal crops to flourish.

Early bird catches the worm, right? Early preparation lays the foundation for successful future harvests, improving soil aeration, nutrient incorporation, and weed control. By initiating these activities in August, farmers ensure their fields are primed and ready for planting when the next season arrives.

Stay summer-ready with AWSM contract farming

In conclusion, as summer heats up, farming demands soar. But with AWSM Farming’s summertime farming services, we’ve got your back. From soil testing to crop harvesting, our expert team and top-notch machinery have you covered.

Don’t sweat it – get in touch today so we can get your farming operations summer-ready.