Wet weather washed away our carefully crafted cropping plans. Despite switching to lighter blocks of land, we still have more than 120ha of winter cropping unplanted at present (partly due to redrilling failed rapeseed areas with winter oats).
Other establishment is variable, and pre-em spray timings have been missed.
Buying new farm kit is a much rarer event nowadays, given inflated machinery prices. Our most notable purchase this season has been a John Deere 6250R.
It has made an exemplary start, doing more than 850 challenging hours without missing a beat or needing a callout.
We need machinery with long-term dependability and excellent build quality, and so far, this tractor has ticked the boxes.
Social media support
Talking to farming friends at the moment, it is evident UK farming is not in a happy place.
With media clowns to the left of us and political jokers to the right, it has been hard to remain positive – especially with bad weather giving us a final kick in the pants.
It is very important we make a special effort to look out for each other, organise social events and find time to concentrate on family, too.
When it comes to social media, it would be wise to remember we are all on the same team, with similar objectives, and that tearing chunks out of each other is not constructive.
Farming seems to have 99 problems right now; let’s stick up for each other as best we can to give a unified voice to challenge all those running down our industry. I predict 2020 can only get better.
At the end of October, our most long-standing member of the farm team, Paul, retired after working here for a remarkable 47 years.
Paul has known five generations of my family and has worked for three of them.
Such continued loyalty is unusual in today’s more fluid workplace, and all wish Paul a long, happy and well-deserved retirement.