After a frustrating wait for some dry weather, the combine was put away for another year on the last day of August after an intense 10 days of long hours and many gallons of expensive fuel.
Every grain of wheat had to be dried, the moistures ranging from 24% to about 16%.
Milling wheat quality has been badly affected by the 10-day wet weather delay which put paid to any Hagbergs above 200.
However, yields have been well above average, with second crops almost matching first wheat levels. But protein levels are low because of their diluting effect.
Our first day combining wheat caused me to miss an historic one in Hull City’s football history when they hosted Fulham in their first ever Premier League game.
My tractor radio was on full volume as they recorded a 2-1 victory in front of a full house – minus me.
It had been very tempting to attend, and after the first load at 24% my colleague, Nick, wished I had gone instead of nagging him to get the combine out of the shed.
The risk in producing a crop of milling wheat compared with the premium is now too high given the extra cost of inputs. Cordiale will be grown as a second wheat predominantly for yield.
Oilseed rape sowing is now our top priority. Andrew Megginson, a neighbour, will sow a small field for us using his subsoiler/broadcast combination, and if it’s successful that method could become our rape establishment policy.
If all goes to plan, I may even have time to travel to Newcastle to see the Tigers play their next game.