Farmer Focus: Our harvest has barely begun

I’ve banned myself from looking at social media until we’ve properly started harvest. I keep reading how farmers in the South and East have finished harvest and we have barely started. I can’t help but feel slightly jealous.

At the time of writing (18 August) we have completed 60ha of volunteer winter beans and 60ha of unripe spring barley to fulfil a contract, with average results. I gather this is very much the order of the day in our region.

Luckily, we have a great team at Belvoir and given half decent conditions, I’m sure we can catch up. The danger here is to not disadvantage next year’s crop by a late harvest.

With so many beans this year, I can see us drilling winter barley while combining, which will be interesting, as I do both jobs.

See also: Harvest 2020: Spring barley harvest kicks off in Scotland

Our Rogator sprayer has just completed its fifth season and has come to the end of its warranty period – it has been brilliant.

However, in a bid to reduce costs we’ve had a demonstration of the trailed equivalent from Fendt – what a machine! It has all the sophistication and capacity of the self-propelled at roughly just over one-third of the capital cost. This may well be the way forward for us.

Although we only run two general-purpose tractors, they are usually stood while we are spraying and would be available to pull a sprayer or even two, for that matter.

In a bid to get a better understanding of the wildlife on the farm, I’ve invested in a wildlife cam. This clever little camera fastens to a post or tree and takes a photo every time something passes by.

It has only been out a week and I’ve already got numerous photos of deer. I’m not able to identify which species yet, as I only have pictures of their feet.

It seems the elastic bands I attached the camera to the tree with must have stretched in the intense heat last week and left the camera pointing at the floor-  two cable ties later and we are back in business.

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