Jon Parker buys new Opico grain dryer

Harvest preparation is now under way. The old grain dryer which had a fire in it last summer has been dismantled and we are just waiting for the delivery and installation of our new Opico 48 tonne dryer. Hopefully, everything will be in place by the time the combine starts rolling in July.

Oilseed rape desiccation will be the next thing on our mind, but the way the crop is looking, I don’t think this will be any earlier than in previous years, despite the dry spring. We usually start spraying glyphosate in the first week of July. One neighbour still swaths his oilseed rape – something I haven’t done for 15 years – but with a large area to combine this year, it may be worth a look.

I know it’s still early, but for me and many others, harvest is a great time of year. Everyone is busy, there’s lots going on on the farm and you become engrossed in this whirlwind of activity. But for many families, who have to juggle work, children and home life, the long summer months can be stressful. When time or weather allows, I think it’s important that everyone gets some quality time at home, which may also help improve the safety record on farms at this tiring time of year.

Let’s hope the main stories to come out of this year’s Cereals event will not revolve around endless traffic queues and car parking. But if this is still the case, why not bring the show over to the west and let us have a go? I know it’s a long way from East Anglia, but your vehicle will cross the A1, if you try.

Jon Parker manages 1,500ha, near Stratford-on Avon, Warwickshire, on a medium to heavy land, for Ragley Home Farms, predominantly arable growing wheat, oilseed rape, and salad onions. There is also a beef fattening unit and sheep flock.

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