EMMA FOOT | HARVEST IN FULL SWING
Well harvest is now in full swing, we’ve cut off our winter barley and oilseed rape before the rain, we really did need that rain last week, we had 14mm in total so we wanted to push on with the rape before the rain came and shattered out the pods, we did have to dry a bit (about 15 tonne) when Dad was drying he discovered we needed a new part for the drier as it was running very slowly, we didn’t use it at all last year so cant expect it all to go smoothly I suppose. Most of the rape was coming off dry (8% moisture) two loads of rape have already gone on in the lorry as the grain company wanted it as soon as we cut it, as the crushers get short at harvest and a few people up country haven’t even started on oilseed rape yet. This is also Bills first harvest so when hauling the rape I either get up in the combine and have a drive or walk Bill- as oilseed rape yields are much lower than other crops depending on the year and soil types about 1.8 tonne an acre as opposed to about 4/5 tonne an acre with cereals. Bill gets a bit hyper in the cut fields its rather amusing to watch running round in random directions then having a lie down then doing it all again.
The rape seems to be yielding ok, a few people I’ve been speaking to say their yields are down a lot due to the flea beetle attacking the crop, when I got a sample from our trailer to test the moisture I was absolutely covered in flea beetles and the trailer was full with them too. Unfortunately oilseed rape in this country is becoming more and more difficult to grow due to the flea beetle, I know from speaking to a few people they wont be attempting to grow oilseed rape this year but what gets me is we export ours, and then import rape that’s had chemicals on that have been banned in our country so they can sell it cheaper due to not being so challenging to grow.
I’ve been tipping our oilseed rape in our tight pit, we normally store all of the oilseed rape in the bins and the rest of the crops in the flat stores if I can tip it dry, but if it needs drying it needs to go through the bins which we are trying to move away from due to it being quite old now and just generally harder work.
We are now hoping to cut our oats this week if the forecast is right, although it seems to be changing most days. This year we will be chopping all of our oat straw as I really don’t think its worth selling to different customers and risking getting grass weeds such as blackgrass on the farm, we do already have it, but I like to think we have it under control by constantly checking the fields and either pulling or spraying it off and financially it doesn’t pay to sell the straw when weeds come in.
We’ve got some roofers in replacing one of our fibre cement roofs on one of our grain stores, as it was leaking in quite a few places, this particular store is for our wheat so should be done in time as they are currently ahead of schedule. We did think about doing the roof ourselves but the tin was much easier with our other store so thought we’d get the professionals to do the fibre cement roof.
I’m starting to wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with the holiday let I’ve been feeling rather stressed with it all as we’ve moved out of our house and going to let that out over the summer and I’ve already moved our stuff into the top of our garage and we are living in there, I never really realised how much stuff we had accumulated over 3 years. Our first group of people arrive on Wednesday so luckily I’ve had the weekend off to cut the lawns and get on with cleaning and getting the last minute jobs done, I’ve had cleaners in to help me as its quite large so that’s been a big help, so now I’m just hoping the guests are happy and it’s worth the hard work.
Hoping everyone is enjoying the summer and thank you for taking the time to have a read.