Farmer Focus: Allan Chambers completes a difficult harvest

As I write it appears that world governments will bail out the bankers. This means higher taxes for you and me brought about by the incompetence and greed of custodians of our hard earned money.

It’s sad that we allowed these arrogant “professionals” to extend credit to all and sundry. Now genuine businesses will be screwed with higher borrowing costs and crippling taxation.

Our difficult harvest has been completed thanks to hard work by our combining and bailing contractors and joint venture potato partners.

We finished combining on 24 September and I was amazed to see moisture contents drop from 27% to 16.5% in two days. Yields were excellent with the last block of wheat producing 10.3t/ha (4.2t/acre) at an average of 18%.

Potatoes are all harvested and price and yield were OK on about 60% of the area.

Disappointing returns from Melody mean we’ll drop this variety.

My problem is understanding why three adjoining fields of Cultra, with identical soil status and cropping histories, should produce three completely different samples with a £60/t variance in value. Soil science holds the answer. Can anyone help?

Winter barley choice for 2009 is Volume and drilling will start next week.

The one pass will follow the plough on stubbles, but I will try to drill the wheat after potatoes by only cultivating the beds. This will leave ground-keepers on the surface and frost should eliminate our volunteer problem.

Mistake of the month: My trailer manufacturing/combine contracting/arable farming friend was short of a combine operator for a day. I offered my services but he handed the keys to my brother. I should have known he would have remembered helping to pull me out of a wet spot 23 years ago when I was the proud owner/driver of an MF 520. Talk about elephants not forgetting.

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