Harvest complete, John is once more on the hunt for his seed corn of choice, Viscount, an old favourite on this farm.

After a desperate search we did manage to get hold of some last year, but also grew Horatio which we were assured would give the same yield. We are back to Viscount. Enough said.

But before the serious business of getting drilled up can start (and we have given ourselves headaches reading the new CAP Reform Countdown and it’s “greening” rules), John aims to indulge in a spot of hedge cutting. Well for this week anyway.

The fancy for life with a hedge cutter does not last for long as he soon gets bored with the job, but it is a necessary task to keep hedges stock-proof and not prone to vicious arguments with either passing traffic or tractor cabs.

We suffer from leaky perimeter syndrome. Draughty fences, punctured boundaries, perforated hedges and pole-axed fencing posts. Many are the result of a lack of cornering skills on our lane.

The biggest hole we suffered was when someone failed to give way at a T-junction and carried straight across the road and into a grass field. With tractor and straw-laden trailer. No stock escaped on that occasion as the grass field had been shut off to give the grazing a break. No casualties, either, apart from a broken windscreen. There was quite a mess in the hedge, but it soon grew back.

Another hedge provides a safety cushion for many drivers who fail to slow up for the SLOW sign painted on the road by the corner of an outlying field. We are thinking of installing a home telephone link here for drivers to request a pull-out service.

Most drivers are very good and, if locals, report the damage to us and offer restitution for repairing or replanting the fence or hedge. Mainly because they need help to get out. But occasionally there are those who turn or reverse out and drive off, ignoring the fact that they have left a gap in a stock-proof fence or hedge.

Then we are frequently summoned by other drivers to gather up the cows, lambs or sheep that have promptly followed the motorists back through the hedge.

Pride goes before the fall, however, in relation to my own driving skills. I just can not get the connection between reversing and steering the vehicle I am driving, to reversing and steering the trailer it is attached to. I live in terror (and so should you) of me being sent out with the Land Rover and cattle trailer to collect a part, or stock, from an unfamiliar address.

If I miss a turning on the way, or can’t find a wide enough turning circle area when I arrive, I am stuck. Reversing between gate posts or up to a door leaves me a gibbering wreck. At this time I can be seen accosting any likely (or even unlikely) looking person to do my manoeuvring. Be warned.

I fare somewhat better with a tractor and trailer, but can still jackknife it given very little encouragement. Especially with onlookers around whose frantic cries of “left hand down a bit” and “right hand up a bit” totally confuse me.

A malignant force seems to be at work – usually that of my dear husband, John, who impatiently drags the steering wheel out of my hands after climbing onto the back of the tractor to finish the reversing himself.

Needs must, though, and there are times when, even though John frequently doubts the printed evidence that I am actually licensed/insured/ accredited to drive agricultural vehicles, I am called on to do my bit.

Once seen, my tipping technique is best avoided and there is always now a surfeit of helpful service if I am ever required to drive a trailer of corn to storage for a local merchants.

It’s rare these days as usually a lorry does the pick-up and we keep most of our winter barley for stock feed. And as I write this a big artic has just come into the yard for a load of wheat. Interval for cup of tea for lorry driver. Arriving at my destination, I judder to a halt, nerves already frayed at the prospect of positioning tractor and trailer on the weighbridge even before I tip up.

But to avoid the trail of corn, not only on the heap but also across the floor of the yard, solicitous drivers come rushing to the tractor and suggest I might like to stretch my legs while they do the tipping for me. Probably saves them hours sweeping up.

But my best party trick was with the old Selectomatics they had on tractors years ago. Driving along, the cab would suddenly go black as the trailer started to tip because I had accidentally nudged the selection. Now that could produce a spectacular trail of corn where it was not wanted.

Today’s tractors are far more sophisticated. Harvest will have swung along with tackle equipped with computer-aided hydraulics, fridges, climate control, keypad immobilisers or satellite-directed imagery of crop density. At the heart of all this complex technology, however, there is still that master, or mistress, of the cock-up. The farmer and his wife.

Bobbi and husband John own the 81ha Lowther Farm near York. They have a suckler herd, a flock of sheep and arable crops. Two daughters, three grandchildren, three dogs, assorted poultry, an overgrown garden and country pursuits also take up their time.