Farmer Focus: Concern growing over harvest part availability

The weather finally turned a corner in June, with warmer temperatures allowing crops to grow rapidly.

Rainfall was the reverse of May, with only 17mm falling over three occasions, and with many windy days, soils have dried quickly, particularly near the surface.

The sprayer has been busy, with the wheat getting both its T2 and T3 sprays and spring barley its T2 spray during June.

About the author

Robert Drysdale
Arable Farmer Focus writer
Robert Drysdale is farm manager at Monymusk Estate, growing winter and spring barley, wheat and oilseed rape across 1600ha on 4 contract farming agreements to the south of Inverurie in Aberdeenshire. The farm also has 130 beef cows running on land that is less suitable for crop production with the majority of calves being finished on the farm.
Read more articles by Robert Drysdale

Being applied at 100 litres/ha means that a fill goes a long way, although some of the bigger mixes take some time to fill, with too many products still coming with foil seals and in 5-litre packs, where 10 litres would be better. 

See also: How two growers are using regenerative farming to protect water

In general, crops are fairly clean, although a couple of fields of wheat where the T1 was delayed are showing more septoria on the lower leaves.

A small spray miss in a field of Gleam is also showing significant yellow rust, something that I don’t generally see. It’s always reassuring to see the fungicide programme is effective.

Although crops have caught up a lot in the past few weeks, it is unlikely to be an early start to harvest and we are now in one of the quietest times of year, with staff taking a well-earned break before the busy harvest and autumn drilling season.

Catching up

This also gives us a chance to get on top of jobs that have been waiting for a quiet time, such as gathering up stones from the spring drilling, fence repairs and building maintenance.

The availability of materials, parts and equipment seems to be becoming an increasing problem, with the blame put on Covid, Brexit, or transport. 

My pickup sat at the dealer for three weeks waiting on a particulate filter, we are waiting to hear if we can get concrete before digging up part of the yard, and trailers ordered in February with delivery expected in June are now anticipated in August. 

All a bit annoying, but not the end of the world, but a long delay in getting key parts for the combine would be rather more serious. Let’s hope the German supply chain is rather more efficient.

Need a contractor?

Find one now