Burnt out combine© Tim Scrivener

Harvest is upon us and it is a time of year that tests even the most patient combine driver, turning saint-like farmers into gibbering wrecks.

A long spell of dry weather will do much to sooth tempers.

But the inevitability of the British summer means there will be stressful periods of weather watching, praying and waiting for sodden crops to dry out.

When combines do restart, there is the thought of the drier back at home burning its way through all that expensive diesel.

So here are nine pieces of advice to prepare you for the stressful weeks ahead.

1. Relax while you can

Now is a good time to squeeze in a few nights at the local as it might be a while before you get back there.

Although, do try and fit at least one visit in to brag about those “pub” yields, or listen to the gossip about your neighbour’s combine disaster

See also: 22 things you know if you work with farmers

2. Worry about the weather

Becoming more paranoid about the weather is perfectly normal at this time of the year.

Make sure you have got at least five weather apps downloaded though, so you can always find a forecast that suits you.

Man frowning at laptop © Jim Varney

© Jim Varney

3. Cosy up to your dealer

Also enter the number of your dealer for the inevitable breakdown and frantic call for immediate repairs.

That’s because you lost your last phone with all your contacts last harvest.

It never did turn up in the grain store.

Broken down tractor © FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

© FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

4. Think of the chain

Dig out your towing chains as the combine will get stuck at some point in that wet patch at the bottom of the hill next to the wood.

At least it is out of view of the neighbours and won’t be discussed at length down the pub.

fixing a combine © FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

© FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

5. Warm up your mixing skills

Sort out your combine/tractor playlist out. 

It’s probably best to avoid the Wurzels if you don’t want to lose your sanity hearing “I’ve got a brand new combine harvester…” for the 20th time. That goes for Radio 4 too, with the endless Brexit coverage.

The Wurzels © ITV/REX/Shutterstock

© ITV/REX/Shutterstock

6. Steel yourself for accidents

Say goodbye to your treasured gateways and the pristine building corners.

Your harvest student will soon wrap a trailer around the said gatepost and redesign your grain store.

Open gate © Image Source/REX/Shutterstock

© Image Source/REX/Shutterstock

7. Check in with your agronomist

Likewise, wish your agronomist a pleasant break.

The lucky so and so will be sunning themselves in perfect harvest weather in hotter climes while you struggle in the soggy British climate.

At least you have the knowledge they are paying more after the pound sank (just like the combine did in Old Pond Field).

Tornado in a field © Cultura/REX/Shutterstock

© Cultura/REX/Shutterstock

8. Stock up on snacks

Buy in plenty of water and delicious snacks for the combine cab, as not even meal breaks will stop you racing to finish the field before the storm of the century arrives that your five weather apps are warning you about.

It’s the only time they all agree so must be right.

unhealthy snacks © MARTIN LEE/REX/Shutterstock

© MARTIN LEE/REX/Shutterstock

9. Keep up with the news

Bookmark the FWi harvest home page and follow FW Harvest twitter and Facebook accounts.

Seeing others struggle will dull the pain of waiting for the field to dry out for the umpteenth time.

Just avoid reading the record-breaking yields.