Farmer Focus Arable: Will Howe harvests wheat in eight days

The last spell of fine weather allowed us to harvest all the wheat in eight days, and then promptly move to cut my neighbour’s. The new harvesting system which included my cutting his land, with him coming to help me cart, appears to have worked very well. I will discover its true success if I get asked back next year.

The only problems seemed to stem from the combine, which overheated every time the wind blew. After losing the best part of two days due to the engine happily bubbling away, the problem was part rectified, only for the sieves to collapse. Maybe we were just unlucky with a one-year-old machine.

The wheat yielded well, Oakley being the standout variety. Humber drilled late was still respectable and Claire yielded very well.

My only concern with Claire is that due to the good yields off the heavier land, the protein levels are never very high, which results in a lower premium. I may be better off growing another high yielding variety with less premium potential.

My first field of oilseed rape has successfully been drilled with the new subsoiler drill.

Initial testing was a bit of a disaster as the legs were creating far too much surface disturbance. But after just one call to the original subsoiler manufacturer, a local farmer’s son, the machine has been transformed with a different set of legs.

It was nice to be treated as if I had placed an order for a hundred new machines, when all I wanted were a few new bits for a second-hand machine.

The slug pelleter has been calibrated and the mathematical equations completed to check that I follow all the latest guidelines on the use of slug pellets. Let’s hope this is enough to appease the madding crowd.

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