Andrew Blenkiron is grateful for small mercies

No bragging, but I have to say how pleased I have been with all of my five inches lately. After all, we all have to be grateful for what we are gifted with in this life don’t we?

Needless to say some of the benefit of those inches went to waste in a period of exceptional excess and was squandered in a sudden rash of enthusiasm, but the rest have definitely been put to exceptionally good use lately.

No, this isn’t the eventual realisation of the limitations or the confessions of a middle-aged arable farmer, merely a comment on how much rain we have had in the last month. All of which has been gratefully received and very much the salvation of this year’s wheat crop. Hopefully, just in time to fill the meager grains and if nothing else, it has ensured that I have eventually had the pleasure of cutting the grass on my new lawn for the first time this year.

Well, with winter barley harvest safely out of the way and quite a lull before the oilseed rape harvest, I managed to make it to the Cheshire County Farms competition for a most enjoyable couple of days to judge the Supreme Champion. What an incredible honour and what a dilemma. How do you separate such exceptional farmers and choose one above all others? All I can say to all of the competitors is well done what an effort – but remember the judge is always right. See you all again at the prize-giving ceremony in the autumn.

In the excitement, I almost forgot the barley crop. It looks good and dry, but the 3.7t/ha hasn’t broken any records – fortunately, not even the one for lowest ever yield. I hope I will be able to say the same for the wheat.

farmer focus: Andrew Blenkiron