Farmer Focus: Robert Moore signs off amid difficult harvest

Another difficult harvest. Not yet a disaster, but it has been frustrating, stressful and tiring. Almost a carbon copy of last year.

Winter barley came in dry, but a disappointing yield, mainly due to such a wet March and being unable to get on the land with early fertiliser.

Oilseed rape was average for here and then the weather broke.

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The recent storms did a lot of damage, caused lodging and a fair bit of grain shedding in wheat that was just ready to cut.

Net result when we got started was 122t off 12ha, but at 24%, so a lot of drying was required. Some other wheat has now sprouted and the weather has broken again.

If I ever rule the world, first against the wall will be weather forecasters!

Positive news

On a more positive note, we saved our winter oats, which have done well, just touching 37.4t/ha at 18% and half our malting barley qualified for distilling with an extra bonus.

The other half failed, as we were unable to harvest it when it was ready. We have 38ha left to harvest and I just pray the weather settles as most of it is starting to lie down.

Farming is such a joy. I should buy shares in the gas company. After a number of years sharing some views and the challenges of farming in the extreme North West, I have decided to hand over to a much younger, and better, farmer!

I have enjoyed writing these pieces and the contacts and friends I have made as a result.

Huge challenges

Despite all the difficulties I still enjoy farming – most of the time – although it has become much more difficult in recent years.

I have often commented on policy issues and the state of our industry, which is currently facing huge challenges.

I believe that leaving the EU creates a great opportunity to develop a world-leading, profitable and sustainable industry for the next generation of farmers and, indeed, our country.

I very much hope that can be achieved and I urge our representatives and political leaders to ensure that happens as we owe that to the next generation. Good luck and stay safe everyone.