Farmer Focus: Combining on stop in Scotland

Pigs are still moving off the farm as part of our depopulation and with some buildings now empty we have started washing down and disinfecting.

This week the grower shed should be empty, which will allow us to take it down and prepare the site for our new build. The slurry pipes have arrived, so we can get started as soon as harvest is over.

Harvest started at the beginning of August with Cassia winter barley, which was a bit flat, but yielded well at 10.3t/ha over the weighbridge at 17%, giving just over 10t/ha dried.

The straw was baled dry and golden, and is, thankfully, now in the barn as we have only had two dry days since.

The wheat is now flat after heavy rain and wind along with some spring barley too. What we thought was going to be an easy harvest is now looking to be normal or maybe late if the rain doesn’t stop.

Arable Farmer Focus writer Andrew Blenkiron said in his 22 August column that his combine was washed and in the shed. It is a pity combines are not easier to transport as a few more would be welcome in the North of Scotland, as little has been cut here in the last three weeks. When the weather does turn, there will be a lot of cereals ready at the same time making it difficult to get a contractor. Patience will be required and, as they say, everything comes to those who wait.

Our son Daniel has got his higher exam results and is off to SRUC, Craibstone, in September to study for an HND in Agriculture.

The course is four-days a week, so he will have three spare days to work at home and earn some money to support his student lifestyle.

We had our annual outing to Turriff Show – a very good local show with all the flare of a National Show. This year was a special year for them as it was the 150th Show. A special guest, the Queen, handed out the prize to the Champion of Champions, which was a rather splendid Charolais cow and calf.

I did see her, but I am sure that she never saw me amongst the many thousands watching.

Danny Skinner farms 440 sows selling finished pigs through Scottish Pig Producers. He runs 125ha at home and rents a further 50ha, growing cereals for home mixing pig rations

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