Farmer Focus: Edward Tupper gets ready for oilseed rape harvest

By the time you read this we should have made a large hole in our oilseed rape harvest. All the fields have been desiccated, albeit at different times after pigeon damage in places.

We tested our new South Downs Combine Partnership Claas 580+ TT last week and were very pleased. The straw chopper seems to do the job we had all hoped throwing the material the full header width. From the back, with its flappy paddles it looks like a happy dog wagging its tail.

Wheat and spring barley seem to be hanging on, but I dare say a week’s hot weather will see Soissons harvested at the end of July.

With crop potential looking worryingly well, I feel there might be a need to try to catch an early market which will also ease storage.

Cropping plans and varieties for next year are at the forefront of discussion.

Should I keep to our basic rotation or should I try something different to ease rising variable costs?

One thing for certain is that I shall be sticking with varieties that we know how to grow and look after, especially with all the talk of certain chemicals being taken off the permitted list.

I must ask whose bright idea that is. With the world crying out for more food, surely a reduction in helpful agrochemicals will only make matters worse? Yields will suffer and prices will rise making Gordon Brown’s position as our prime minister look even weaker.

Talking of people in the wrong job, who asked Peter “loans” Mandelson to meddle in the affairs of the European subsidy on our behalf and apparently give half of it away? And which England cricket selector was it who gave a first cap to an Australian roof tiler?

Have a good sunny harvest.

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