Harvest is finally here, but it has nearly turned into a salvage operation, with the last four inches of rain on heavy Belvoir clays proving too much for some crops.
Water-logging on 40ha of DK Expower brought about an abrupt end to the crop’s already short life and yields have been disappointing at around 4t/ha. The rest of the rape hasn’t fared quite so badly. With most of it not ready yet, time will tell where the yields end up.
In the wet the whole team was nervous about ground conditions and, sure enough, it wasn’t long before the chaser bin operator was calling for a chain and tow. It turns out the 4wd had packed up on our 17-year-old Fendt.
Thanks to B&B tractors we were back to full traction in a couple of hours and haven’t been stuck since.
SOYL started soil sampling this week as we move towards precision management of inputs. I’m hoping this will give us the full-house of acronyms – we’ve got RTK, GPS, CTF, VA, YM, DD and I’m sure somewhere there’s some MDF. If I get time I fancy some R&R.
Like a lot of people I was gutted the CLA Game Fair was cancelled. I completely understand why – you could barely move, the ground conditions were so awful. It’s just a shame, especially as I was going to enter Millie in a gun dog trial. The kids said I had saved myself from major humiliation and that retrieving a slipper from behind the sofa bore no resemblance to retrieving a dummy at distance from under some Norwegian spruce. Oh well, there’s always next year.
Keith Challen manages 800ha of heavy clay soils in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire, for Belvoir Fruit Farms. Cropping includes wheat, oilseed rape and elderflowers. The farm is also home to the Belvoir Fruit Farms drinks business