Harvest was completed by 25 September, and we combined on 44 of the 61 days since we started.
In total, we cut about 1,500ha, which was a great performance by both staff and combine in a challenging season, with frequent damp conditions.
Fortunately, the balers finished the following day as the weather broke on 27 September, and it has been mostly wet since.
While cutting spring barley, we had a demo of a combine with a Convio-Flex header. The difference in laid areas was huge, picking up more of the crop and feeding it evenly into the machine.
We stop combining during the night when the barley starts to wrap round the auger and go into the combine in lumps, which can often be early in the evening.
Using the belt feed we could easily gain half an hour a day, which would be the equivalent of two extra days over the course of harvest.
Cereal yields have been around average, with all of the spring barley crop now collected for malting.
I was disappointed by this year’s OSR harvest, so it is good to see our newly drilled crop looking well.
We blocked off every second coulter on the drill to encourage bigger, bushier plants, which will hopefully withstand flea beetle larvae better.
It looks likely this will be tested, as we had to treat all of the OSR area with insecticide due to damage from flea beetle grazing. Fortunately, we seem to have had good levels of control and hope that this results in a lower number of larvae in the spring.
When fertiliser prices came out in June, they looked a bit on the high side, but I did commit to most of our requirement, which now looks cheap.
For the spring barley, I still had the compound applied at drilling to buy, and with the price rising almost daily some calculations were required before committing to record prices.
I will leave a few poorer-performing areas as fallow and put an extra field into grass, but will crop most of the planned area.
Malting barley prices of at least this year’s level will be needed to justify this.