Jacob Anthony: My unpopular opinion on the monotony of harvest

With Boris Johnson rising to the top, the farming community seems to be divided on the man who is now our prime minister.

While many are showing delight at having a true Brexiteer at the helm – someone who really can deliver on the vote of the people – there are  more pessimistic and cautious voices worrying about what a maverick such as Mr Johnson could be capable of.

Well, just to put another highly contentious and possibly unpopular opinion out there – I think harvest time and, more specifically, driving tractors, is boring.

Machinery monotony

Sure, the first couple of days into harvest are not too bad. I can cope with the drone of the tractor engine and the bounce of the cab. After that, however, I find myself getting totally and utterly bored senseless.

How on earth some people get excited for harvest and pumped up over sitting in a tractor carrying a fancy implement is beyond me.

Yes, I do love to see the barns teeming with sweet bales ready to feed the hungry mouths over the coming winter – but that’s where my enthusiasm for machinery ends.

I am sure that I can feel my brain cells slowly depleting after hours upon hours in the tractor cab – my highlight of the day is checking out my food supplies.

Usually I am not a great eater but to relieve the monotony of harvest, I turn into a hybrid of the cookie monster crossed with a Labrador.

I would much rather be out in the elements, battling the lashing rain or covering up from the baking sun, tending stock, fixing fences. Four legs is far more stimulating than four tyres any day! (Cue the Welsh jokes).

Saved by the podcast

Last Sunday we were up against it with the weather turning, so another late night harvest was under way.

Interestingly it has now suddenly clicked to me that our local radio station obviously has a Sunday night off – the DJ’s were probably chilling at home with the obligatory takeaway and a thrilling episode of Love Island.

After several hours of listening I worked out that their show was on a pre-recorded loop and to amuse myself, I would try to recall what the next song would be – if I got it right, I would reward myself with another bar of chocolate.

This is the level of boredom that I have succumbed to. Thank God for the likes of Will Evans’ and various others’ podcasts.

See also: Farming podcasts to listen to while working on the farm

I must say though, all of the above said I am very grateful for Guy Smith’s tips on how to take a great harvest photo. At least by posting a photo of your harvest job on social media you can try to convince yourself that it is not all that bad.

Whether it’s Snapchat, lads group conversations or Twitter, where would any of us be without social media at this time of the year?

All jokes aside, this is just another period in the farming calendar and a critical one at that. So I hope everyone is having a good harvest and hopefully stocks are looking more plentiful than this time last year.