Our hay and haylage was made and stacked in the barn during the first two weeks of June. Quality was excellent due to good weather though yields were a little down on last year.

Most first-cut is gathered in conventional bales for the equestrian market. Although more work, having to be stacked by hand in the barn, they do bring a good return when quality is good.

Helping us this year was Ed, the nephew of our worker Geoff. He had finished school on the Monday and was in the barn on Tuesday throwing bales around.

I must admit that I didn’t expect to see him again as he left that day with blisters on his hands and a shattered look on his face. To his credit though, and renewing my faith in the youth of today, he was back every day that week for more.

Crops generally look quite promising, having had plenty of rain to get them going after a dry spell. Winter barley is beginning to turn and the spring barley has all shot.

Potatoes are being sprayed for blight at seven-day intervals with Curzate (cymoxanil + mancozeb) and so far look clean with good potential.

One job to be tackled soon is servicing the combine. Every year I decide that I will get it done in the winter when supposedly I have more time.

As usual the machine has stood in the shed where I put it after harvest, untouched, apart from being started a couple of times during the winter to charge the battery and aggravate the mice, which have no doubt taken up residence.

The initial part of the service will be to check the most vital components. Needless to say the radio and air conditioning will be first on the list.