Farmer Focus: Locals appreciative of barley destined for beer

Harvest, or “destroying the evidence”, continues.

Yields have been predictably below average, with the frustration of seeing the yield meter all over the place depending on soil type.

Where the soil has held on to a bit of moisture, yields are respectable, which just goes to show how a little more rain at the right time in the spring would have given us more tonnage in the grain store.

Harvest is easy, though, in the dry conditions. We are not using that much diesel and I am keeping up with carting, so there are silver linings.

See also: Flindt on Friday: Bloodshed at OSR’s last stand

We seem to have boosted our approval ratings locally with the inclusion of some sunflowers in our wild bird mix areas. The local Facebook page is full of photos of the cheerful blooms. It seems people cannot get enough of them.

However, we did spoil a little afternoon tea party that was being held on the edge of the sunflowers when we moved in with the combine to cut the adjacent spring barley.

Luckily, I arrived with the header some minutes ahead of Hew with the combine, and was able to direct the partygoers to a spot which would not soon become a dust storm.

Social media has been helpful for explaining why a tractor-driven fan was droning all night to cool our Explorer barley from highs of 30C.

Amazingly, when we told the locals about needing to retain germination by cooling the barley to go for Budweiser, they were very understanding.

Amusingly, one smart Alec requested free beer as compensation, and another one requested a different beer.

Delivery of our lamb boxes went well, even though we had to pause harvesting wheat to do it. I really enjoyed meeting our customers, something we never do when selling crops.

We were lucky to have Emily, Hew’s girlfriend, helping. Hew came straight from fixing a hydraulic leak on the combine and was covered in oil. He had strict instructions to just do the driving and let his glamorous assistant knock on the doors to present the boxes of fresh lamb.