Bill Davey puts new combine on hold after average harvest

As we sat down to enjoy a wonderful Sunday lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, surrounded by friends and family last weekend, I paused for a moment. How fortunate we’ve been, given that we live only 15 minutes away from Christchurch.

We have not lost any family members and our business and premises continue to function and remain intact, unlike so many who lived and worked in the city. Let’s hope and pray that New Zealand never has to witness another earthquake, which has destroyed the lives of so many, ever again.

As for Japan, what can one say? As New Zealand’s third largest trade partner, with exports worth around NZ$7bn (£3.2bn), we rely heavily on Japan as a consumer of our agricultural commodities. It would appear that Mother Nature is in meltdown at the moment and I wonder just what we have done to upset her.

Harvest finished here on 9 March and, as suspected, we’ve only had an average one. Searing heat and high, unrelenting winds around the end of the year certainly spoiled the party here in mid-Canterbury.

This has thrown farm budgets to the wind, but looking forward to next season things look particularly brighter with better prices and contracts being offered. I only hope world affairs don’t cause the wheels to fall off.

We had a New Holland CR9080 combine demonstration during harvest, in wheat. I was decidedly impressed with its output and the relative simplicity of its design. I’d have liked to have seen it in damp grass seed, but that wasn’t to be. We also had the Lexion 770 on tracks, again in wheat, and I was very impressed with its 35ft Vario cutterbar. Given this year’s average harvest, perhaps we should make our present combine last a little longer.

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