Farmer Focus: Edward Tupper says hard work sees harvest home

Harvest was completed here at Littleton in the early hours of 1 September. But this was only achieved by the hard work and commitment of all those involved – so thank you, everyone.

Yields and quality so far have been good, especially with the wheats. Both Einstein and Claire have done well and will be grown again next year.

Tipple spring barley was cut with ease and yielded well. That’s mainly because it isn’t a variety that tends to brackle and leave heads on the ground as Optic used to do.

Our acreage of spring barley will be reduced for next year’s harvest because of the lack of chemicals to control grasses and, of course, the pathetic price. Let’s just hope that the England football team reaches the World Cup and does well. That should increase lager sales, which in turn will increase the malting barley price – I hope.

Cultivations have started with a slightly different approach from that of previous seasons, to try to undo the damage from last year. All fields being sown with an autumn crop have had a pan-buster cultivator pass through first, which I hope will take out any compaction.

For the first time in many years winter oilseed rape was drilled and rolled before the combine had finished, albeit by only five hours.

The fields have had their usual mixture of chicken muck, sewage sludge and green waste compost spread on them in various quantities.

The drill and rollers arrived back covered in dust, which was a welcome sight compared with last year.

A big thank you must go to Andrew Blake of Farmers Weekly for letting me ramble on once a month. I’m sure that he’ll enjoy his retirement and not miss the dreaded deadline day. His guidance and editing skills have been very selective.

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