Stewart Hayllor

5 October 2001

Stewart Hayllor

Stewart Hayllor farms 343ha

(850 acres) of owned and

rented land from Blackler

Barton, Landscove, Devon,

growing cereals and

combinable breaks. Organic

vegetables occupy 24ha

(60 acres) and a further

160ha (400 acres) is farmed

on contract

FINE weather in late August and most of September allowed an easy end to combining with time to let late winter beans, some spring barley and lupins mature and dry naturally.

Winter beans suffered from dry weather at pod set, the bottom half of the plant having plenty of pods, but the top half very few, and yield ended up at 3t/ha (25cwt/acre).

Towards the end of the harvest we had a big gearbox failure on the combine with a cracked casing. It happened late one Sunday afternoon, but the response from Gliddons, who supplied the combine, was excellent. They were willing to strip the gearbox out of a spare combine that night and fit it the next morning.

In the event I decided to have a new gearbox in the hope that Massey Ferguson would agree with me that it was a manufacturing fault. The new gearbox arrived overnight and was fitted the next day. When dealer and manufacturer work together to ease the pain confidence in the product improves.

As yet no wheat has been drilled, ploughing is progressing, and recent rains should soften soil and improve seed-beds. Canola (oilseed rape) has been slow to germinate, but I hope by the time you read this it should look better.

Harvest of 4ha (10 acres) of organic calabrese started in September with cutting needed most days. Head sizes are variable due to the dry weather, but quality has been good so far. Most of the cutting crew come from South Devon Organic Producers, but with one person from our farm always present.

I try to share the work around to keep the motivation levels up and for some the incentive for the job has been boosted by the presence of one female worker in a thong. With cauliflower cutting just starting maybe I should equip the harvesting rig with a pole dancer? On second thoughts maybe not or I will never get our cereals planted! &#42

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