Neighbour has last laugh on Will Howe

Will Howe farms 384ha (950 acres) of medium to heavy land at Ewerby Thorpe Farm, near Sleaford, Lincs, growing wheat, oilseed rape and winter beans

A simple phone call from my neighbour led me to go and help harvest his oilseed rape that all came ripe at the same time.

Great hilarity ensued when his ageing combine first started spluttering with a fuel problem, and then couldn’t stop because of a clutch failure.

Unfortunately, fate came back to truly bite me on the behind and give him the last laugh when the engine blew up on my Challenger.

This is just the sort of time when salesmen can earn big deals. After many phone calls to anyone who might have a big tractor for hire, my friendly John Deere dealer uttered the line: “I don’t have anything in, but I will see what I can do.”

This translates as: “I will move hell and high water, and you will get a tractor.” Many thanks, Les.

Last year I had finished my wheat harvest by 9 August. Unfortunately, I had yet to finish even the oilseed rape by that date this year, as it has taken forever to ripen.

It’s ironic that we spend a king’s ransom on keeping crops green for as long as possible and then complain about the crop not ripening on time.

After I had expected a refreshing gap between the rape and wheat harvests to get everything organised again, they will now run into one another.

All is not lost. As soon as the combine gets into the wheat I have only to make a phone call and over the hill will come my knight in shining armour to lend a hand. Well, with dad’s 40 years’ experience, one part of the previous sentence is possibly true.

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