Farmer Focus: Weather put boot into harvest, says Martin Lawrenson

After a good start to harvest, yet again the weather put the boot in and for more than two weeks at the end of August and beginning of September the combine never turned a wheel. Hopefully with a fine spell of weather forecast we should be able to get the last of the spring barley and the wheat finished.

Yields have been quite pleasing overall with quality also being good. Unfortunately, it looks as if returns are going to be disappointing again with spot prices below £100/t.

One option may be to buy more beef stores and walk the grain out of the yard, rather than truck it out. Unfortunately we may not be the only ones considering this option as store prices have firmed quite substantially lately as the number of buyers increases.

Potato bagging is progressing steadily and luckily we managed to clear the wettest land before the wet weather arrived allowing us to keep the harvester going. Crops have been pretty pleasing overall with Kestrel performing especially well, averaging around 60t/ha. The sample was very bold with some whoppers reminding me of a neighbour who used to claim that his spuds were so big that he had to stand next to the bagging machine turning potatoes round so that they would fit in the bags.

Well done to the Irish farmers who broke the world record for 175 combines working in one field. It was a colossal effort to stage the event and congratulations must go for achieving the record and raising money for charity.

May I volunteer our farm to hold the next record attempt? At a rate of seven acres/min our whole harvest would be wrapped up in around 45 minutes. Maybe we could go for the world straw baling record the day after.

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