Andrew Hunter is managing director of UK-owned Magyar Farming, which in Hungary grows 3000ha (7400 acres) of combinable crops and potatoes, has 900 dairy cows and runs a potato-packing business. It also farms in Serbia and the Ukraine.
We had very hot weather last month and had to rush to get all the potato irrigation in place. Then former manager James Hinsby visited three times bringing rain each time from Austria. Now the crop, flowering evenly, looks a real picture.
We’ve stopped packing as there was no margin in importing, and the weighers have gone for reconditioning before we start in our new facility, which has about one third of the roof on.
The new workshop floor is laid and we also have the footings in for the new cow shed.
Crops in Hungary and Serbia look well apart from a few sunflowers, so if the weather doesn’t get too hot things should be fair.
We’ve started whole-cropping triticale to rebuild some of our forage stocks.
The contractors are half-way through sand-blasting and respraying the grain bins in Serbia to go with the new drier.
The Ukrainian weather has finally improved. We are planning harvest and trying to get land we have taken on sprayed off and cultivated.
There has been nearly 750mm of rain in the region this year – more than the annual average – which has made life difficult in our first season.
Hopefully, with all the machinery now in place, the right management and a bit of luck we shall be looking at a different autumn picture compared to last season.
The Hungarian government never ceases to amaze me. Having issued the final paperwork for our biogas plant more than four months ago, it has decided to change it, and at the stroke of a keyboard wiped out a e200,000 building subsidy. C’est la vie!