Canadian potato harvest looks good

I’m nearly over my annual bout of potato “harvest vision”. I define “harvest vision” as when everything revolves around the next field, the next load, the next tea break, the next day, the next breakdown, the next shed and the next fuse.

It’s something I know you’re all familiar with; when you become so engrossed with harvest that you seemingly forget about the rest of the world.

Yields are looking decent – slightly above the farm average, and quality is good. We have also experienced the novelty of hauling predominantly potatoes to the grading shed instead of “soil with a few spuds in it” like the previous two harvests.

While fixing the potato harvester the other day, my watchstrap broke. Since then, despite having the time readily accessible on my mobile and in the tractor, I somehow lost track of it.

It made me realise just how easily we can take time for granted. It’s like a forgotten currency: soon spent, easily wasted and we can’t really make it.

Similarly, on the occasions when we need more of it, such as those rare perfect spraying days, or less, such as when you apparently spend a lifetime waiting at red traffic lights, it rarely obliges.

Farmers are more aware than most about the passage of time. We certainly seem to run out of it most days.

On the subject of time, it’s time for a change. After four years’ experiencing agriculture in Canada, I’m moving on to a fresh challenge.

At the risk of sounding a bit like a cheesy Oscar acceptance speech (thank you to my friends, my family…) I would just like to say that it has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to adorn the arable pages of the UK’s premiere agricultural publication over the past four years.

Thanks to all that have read, communicated and even visited me during my stint.

Seth Pascoe is assistant manager on North Paddock Farms, at Taber, southern Alberta, Canada. Crops on the 730ha of irrigated sandy-loam include potatoes for McCain, durum and soft wheat, GM oilseed rape for seed and Timothy for hay

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