Farmer Focus: Grain moisture terms are unfair, says Will Howe

I hope this is the last harvest when grain merchants catch me between a rock and a hard place.

Having requested terms for selling wet grain, I was told there would be an 11% weight loss charge, when the industry standard for the moisture in question is 6.5%. Don’t you just love the community spirit and camaraderie in tough times?

As a form of direct action, should we as farmers bother to load lorries out of business hours to please merchants? Unfortunately, the only people to get hurt by this move would be the already struggling hauliers. There does, though, need to be a shift in power somewhere.

My first reaction to the harvest struggles has been to rush out and get the biggest combine I can justify.

My preferred option would be to taunt one of the large manufacturers into trying to set yet another completely meaningless world record on my farm, and thus negate the need for my own combine. It’s so simple.

With my student having fled back to the safety of the bar at Harper with enough cash in his back pocket to solve the current banking crisis, and sugar beet gangs marauding around the countryside, it really feels like winter. It’s just a shame that I’m only halfway through the drilling campaign. The good week now forecast should see the end of the wheat planting.

With the price of our produce also beating a hasty retreat, I thought it was time to experiment with direct drilling some rape off the back of a cultivator.

Because it has worked better than I could have imagined, my thoughts are now turning to next year’s planting. I think the answer has to lie in having an array of kit for every different conceivable set of conditions.

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