Farmer Focus: Serbian harvest not far away for Andrew Hunter

We finished all the spring planting in good time, with adequate rainfall making things look quite reasonable so far. We have been struggling to get through the work in the Ukraine, due to a late spring and huge amounts of rain.

We are down to the last bit of mustard to plant, but as a lot of the land is coming back into cropping after a number of years fallow, it is making things far from ideal. If we’d had kinder weather in the autumn it would be making things a lot easier now.

The potatoes have started to grow away quite well we were struggling to get the irrigation into place and were saved by a decent rainfall. Old-crop potatoes are moving out of store quickly now, although the price is not great, with a washed, packed and delivered price of only about E280/t.

The builders are making rapid progress on our projects, with the new workshop up and clad, the frame for the potato store and packhouse is going up at the moment. It is on target to be finished by the end of August. We are also starting a new cubicle shed.

We have agreed a contract to build a new grain drier for this autumn in Serbia, which should allow us to cut our gas consumption and do our bit to reduce global warming. We have also got a contractor in to sand-blast and repaint the grain silos. Harvest will be rapidly upon us there, as combining of wheat is expected in June.

I am continuing with my management problems, having parted company with two in the past week. This leaves us short-staffed again and we will have to assess how we divide up work in the future.

See more