Harvest finished for us on 3 September and we have had a busy time since with cultivations, drilling and some final drying.


Wheat yields have on average been quite good considering the lack of early summer rainfall. Yield maps prove that this season has been primarily about moisture availability with the drought-affected soils yielding substantially less than the moisture retentive areas.

With so much road work between farms and stores, we spent significant time and money on tractor and trailer preparation, tyres and maintenance, coupled with appropriate training for younger drivers, and logistical planning with all operators to minimise unnecessary issues on the roads.

It is fair to say that a huge amount of our fellow road users reciprocated our responsible approach and coped with occasional tailbacks and unavoidable holdups. It is a shame that sadly a small minority of motorists seem incapable, either through ignorance or maybe sheer stupidity, to cope with a slower agricultural machine having to negotiate the country roads and seemingly endless roadworks around Peterborough.

With autumn work well under way my diary is filling up with winter tasks and some more training. As a sector chairman of Landskills East, I have been well aware of the funding available in the Eastern region for training, and indeed through other consortiums around the country.

I was not entirely surprised, therefore, to find that I have been the most prolific delegate on Landskill-funded training courses so far, including Soils and Their Cultivation, Agronomy, Health and Safety and the various Gatekeeper Computer courses.

While I know how difficult it can be to find the time for training and personal development, with the uncertainty facing such provision in the future due to government cutbacks, I would urge everyone to find their regional training providers and take best advantage of the current funding while it is available.

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