Farmer Focus Arable: Andrew Hunter completes harvest

Ryan has finally managed to push the combine over the Hungarian wheat harvest finishing line, but with rain and breakdowns plaguing us, the last 5ha took three days.

We’ve cleared all the straw, which didn’t take long, as we had only half last year’s quantity; so we shall have to use it very conservatively to get through to next harvest.

Yield has been disappointing after the low spring rainfall and crops being unable to use all the fertiliser. At about 4t/ha, it’s our worst result since the extreme spring drought of 2002.

Prices have continued to fall, with feed wheat now about £75/t and milling samples £90/t.

In the Ukraine we have completed the oilseed rape harvest, although logistics mean we still need to move a lot back to the drier and cleaner. Yields have been variable, depending on field, sowing date and fertiliser quantity.

We are also well through the wheat harvest there and should finish in the next few days. We’ve also been drilling oilseed rape and have about 1600ha of our 2500ha target in the ground. We’re also sowing oilseed rape in Hungary for the first time for a few years.

The impending maize harvest looks pretty encouraging as far as yield goes, but the price, as with all commodities, is continually dropping.

We’ve been harvesting and packing our own potatoes now for a month, with the second earlies packed yield turning out at about 36t/ha. However, the price is falling and we are getting only about £210/t delivered to our supermarket customer.

We had a small farm sale in Serbia last weekend to move some surplus machinery on. The best part was the burger van providing refreshments, with Coca-Cola or three different types of beer the choice.

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