Farmer Focus: Not looking forward to combining spring beans

Well, it finally rained, with just 19mm falling in the first week of June. I know I ought to be grateful, but it does feel like it’s too little, too late.

We normally cope well in a drought when autumn-drilled crops are deep rooted, as on this heavy land they will keep growing. However, shallow-rooted springs crops never really got going.

Harvest looks like it’s going to be a sorry state of affairs and as I drive the combine I guess I’m going to see every frustrating acre.

See also: Is bruchid beetle making spring beans less attractive?

It’s been an interesting exercise growing spring beans alongside winter beans drilled only a couple of weeks apart.

As you’d expect, the springs are racing through their growth stages and are more advanced now than the winters. However, the winters are going to be twice as tall and easier to combine with the pods at a sensible height.

I’ve spent the past few days finalising cropping and budgeting for the harvest 2021 crop, and while there’s nothing unexpected there, funding cashflow from the 2020 sales harvest is going to take a bit of imagination.

Our elder harvest started on 1 June and went off with a bang, with near-record weights for the first few days. Hot sunny weather brought out a healthy numbers of pickers and an abundance of flowers. However, the intense heat pushed them too far, resulting in high numbers of flower deaths.

It”s such a shame when potential looks so good, only to be taken away by the weather yet again. Fingers crossed for a cooler period just to give us chance for the public to pick them.

As if 2020 hadn’t been enough of a rubbish year, I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit, in the grand scheme of things it was really a non-event and I’m lucky to be fit and healthy during the current pandemic. Well, healthy anyway.

All celebrations have been put on hold until next year when I fully intend to show my late-teen and twenty-something kids, nieces and nephews I still know how to party.