Farmer Focus: Poor machinery service frustration

Why is it when you order something for July delivery, machinery manufacturers think October will do? Why do they not answer the phone? Do they think the problem is going to go away by ignoring you?

And to be reminded that it is Friday lunchtime and I will have to wait until Monday just makes it worse.

OK, rant over, but I do think some manufacturers – now more than ever – have a poor service once the order has been secured.

Oilseed rape has all been desiccated and is looking well. Fingers crossed it performs as well as it looks.

See also: Read more from our arable Farmer Focus writers

The only frustration is that some thistles that germinated late have come through the canopy and spoil the look of the crop in places, although I think it is only cosmetic.

The Hyvido barley looks amazing. My next job is a moisture test and then, hopefully, combining.

In two separate incidents recently two cyclists lost their lives while riding the local lanes. Every year my area seems to host more and more cycle races and while I am glad to see people enjoying their hobby, the lanes of Belvoir simply aren’t suitable.

They travel in large group,s making it impossible to pass safely. In one incident a sprayer operator encountered three cyclists coming down a steep hill, around a bad bend on the wrong side of the road.

All three cyclists crashed into the hedge, missing the sprayer by a matter of inches. Luckily they walked away with only minor cuts and bruises, but needless to say the sprayer operator was left in shock.

Millie, super dog, celebrated her fourth birthday last week. It suddenly dawned on me, where has that boisterous, inquisitive, mischievous puppy gone?

Finally she is just about as near to perfect as a dog can get. She retrieves well, walks to heel perfectly, never runs off and doesn’t jump up or even beg.

After a few doggie treats we had a couple minutes of shooting bunnies from the kitchen window – I shoot them, she does a blind retrieve.

Well, I shot it and she retrieved the wrong one – a live one. Perhaps she is not quite perfect after all.


Keith Challen manages 1,200ha of heavy clay soils in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire, for Belvoir Fruit Farms. Cropping includes wheat, oilseed rape and elderflowers. The farm is also home to the Belvoir Fruit Farms drinks business.