I detest having to report doom and gloom, but with 280% of our normal August rainfall and a wet start to September I have little alternative.
Only 9.7ha (24 acres) of 73ha (180 acres) of wheat have been combined leaving 60% of our harvest still out there. Fortunately, all the wheat is standing Alchemy with little sprouting.
Gert, our potato packer’s agronomist called today to assess the 16ha (40 acres) of Cultra. The verdict – dig as soon as possible and most will meet storage spec.
The 4ha (10 acres) of Melody are a different story with severe rhizoctonia leaving an ugly sample that we shall have to grade. Luckily all the potatoes are in free draining fields allowing machinery to travel.
Spring barley, all Waggon, is in store and produced a 9t/ha (3.6t/acre) at 20% moisture. Next year, providing negotiations succeed, we hope to grow a malting variety. Local entrepreneurs are planning a small malting plant to produce for various markets.
I had great hope for our wheats as they show massive potential and the only field cleared so far has done 12.75t/ha (5.1t/acre) at 21% moisture. This is a life-time best which makes it all the more frustrating not to be able to get on.
With wheat coming into our farmer-owned grain drying and storage plant at 24+% a massive pile of wet grain has built up, and despite 24-hour operating we have had to purchase pedestal fans to ventilate the grain in a temporary storage area.
Mistake of the month: Read the first statement outlining how the “Wealth Management Division” of a leading local bank has handled the proceeds of my small, recently matured life policy. The harvest may be sad, but I have more faith in the weather than in suits who charge a fixed commission. I’ve learned an expensive lesson.