Farmer Focus: Cultivations back on track says Andrew Hunter

Harvest is ongoing in Hungary and Serbia, as both farms have about 200ha of grain maize to cut. Yields have been improving as we have worked through the crop, and prices are heading in the right direction. If all goes well next week, it will be our earliest-ever finish of maize.

We might plant more wheat as the weather is mild for the time of year. The cultivations are back on track in Hungary after a wet spell that stopped everything for 10 days.

Milk price is a continuing problem, with the dairy company not prepared to move even in a market that is rising rapidly. The Hungarian government has tried to ease the situation for farmers by paying out 70% of the area aid and the dairy premium well ahead of the usual time – it could be more to do with the approaching general election. I am grateful whatever the reason.

We have also been paid the final instalment on the potato store and packing equipment project that we started using last year.

We are awaiting confirmation from the government as to whether we are in the new stewardship scheme. It started from 1 September, but no one has been told whether they have been accepted.

This has made life difficult, as one of the rules that you need to abide by is that you cannot have fields bigger than 75ha. This has led us to some interesting drilling decisions and we will look stupid if we are not in the programme.

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