Farmer Focus Arable: Edward Tupper puts his grain store to use

Edward Tupper farms 700ha (1730 acres) on the South Downs near Petworth and manages a further 112ha (277 acres) on contract. Crops include wheat, oilseed rape, barley, maize and grass for a 175-cow dairy

Harvest started here on 1 August in winter oilseed rape. Two hours were managed before the heavens opened and we all retreated back home.

It seems that we’ve started where we left off in the middle of September last year, by just going whenever we can.

The first 40 acres of rape yielded well with an estimated tonnage about 1.8t/acre. That was dried and sent on its way. The rest will be going into store for the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed the price will rise.

Solstice wheat yielded just over 4t/acre and has managed to nearly fill one bay of the newly completed grain store which was completed on time and looks great.

I’ve enjoyed seeing it take shape over the past few months and seeing the concrete base being laid in one go in a day was truly amazing.

The store will enable me to manage my harvest a lot more efficiently. It will allow any wet grain to be stored temporarily before being put into the drier – the later being something I’d clearly prefer not to have to do.

Thanks must go to all those involved who helped complete the project, be it in the office or on the end of a shovel.

On 22 August the parishioners of St Mary the Virgin, Upwaltham, the small church on the farm, will celebrate the lives of 15 airmen from four countries who died in 1944 and 1945 when their aircraft crashed into the downs above the farm.

The event will be marked by a fly past of a Lancaster bomber in memory of those brave men who fought for their countries and freedom. This is just our way of paying tribute to some of those who made sure that Great Britain remained “Great”.

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