Farmer Focus: Andrew Hunter finishes drilling in Ukraine

We have completed our drilling program in the Ukraine in record time. Lack of moisture to get crops away was a concern; now, after the rain and snow in the last few weeks, a bit of mild weather would be appreciated to get a satisfactory amount of development before the winter really sets in.

The farm in Serbia has been making progress with the grain maize harvest and, if the weather allows, should wrap it up in good time. We have been doing some burning after the combine to speed up cultivations to establish the following crop of wheat.

This was going well until the rain, but the grain drier we built last year has reduced our gas consumption, making us more competitive in the local contract market.

In Hungary we have been progressing with the potato harvest and have only about 10ha left to lift. Yields have been pretty good with Desiree topping 40t/ha and Mozart more than 60t/ha into store.

Sunflower harvest is finished. Variable yields (1-3t/ha) reflected the success of spring weed control. We are now into grain maize and have called in some contractors to help with an outlying desiccated block, which was flattened by a huge gale.

The only time we have seen anything like that before was caused by driving snow. It has made harvesting a lot more difficult and we are leaving a lot in the field. The crop that we are getting off is giving 6-7 t/ha.

The good news is that the prices have started to move up a little bit, which makes a change after a whole year of them heading south.

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