Farmer Focus: It’s shaping up to be a snatch-and-grab harvest

It all looked so promising a few weeks ago. Six inches of rain later and the winter barley is lodged and, at the time of writing, we are barely halfway through combining it.

Yields are good, but output is down. Some of our best-looking wheat crops are also lodged, having had a full growth regulation programme.

And with an unsettled forecast, it’s already feeling like a snatch-and-grab harvest – and it’s only the first week of August.

Although we haven’t got to harvesting our variety trial in the winter barley yet, we have cut our Interagro amino acid trial, and for the third year running, we have seen a significant uplift in yield, with a very respectable margin over cost.

See also: How to prevent spring barley lodging

I’m glad we’ve used the product across most of the farm this year, as it seems to be a worthwhile investment.

Politics, mowers and blackgrass

Congratulations to Mr Johnson on his recent appointment to prime minister – not a job I’m envious of, although I often think we farmers would make pretty good advisers to the PM. After all, there’s not much we can’t fix.

Although it was encouraging to see the PM travelling the length and breadth of the country and meeting Welsh farmers, we need some pretty quick clarity on how he intends to support agriculture post Brexit.

Because one thing is for sure, without it, it looks like quite a bleak future – and that’s coming from an optimist.

I’d like to thank Gary Gilder and Spearhead Machinery for a recent demonstration of their destroyer mower. There was something quite satisfying about seeing 30-year-old elders being laid down and pulverised in one go.

What would have been a five-day job was dealt with in an afternoon.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate my daughter on getting herself a 12-month internship with ForFarmers Feeds, where she is hoping to start training to become a production animal nutritionist during a year out from university.

I did suggest a good use of her time there could be to find a ration where blackgrass is the key ingredient. Well, there’s no harm in asking!