Friday, 21 October 2016
Harvest seems a distant memory, as the grain store fan are blowing the cool air through the harvest grain and the Cross Slot drill is wrapping the last few fields of autumn planted winter wheat. It has not been our biggest harvest ever, although I think we were spoilt last year with some great yielding crops but it was far from a disaster either. Our oilseed rape and winter barley were the worst performing crops down about 20% from last year and slightly below our longer 5 year average. The oilseed and barley grains were small which gave us problems of different sorts. The barley size meant that we had high screenings, that means that too many fell through a sieve resulting in less usable quality. The majority of the crop was sold and moved at harvest to Molson Coors. The oilseed rape has lower oils that last year; about 44% rather than 48% which gives us a slightly lower grain price and the seed sizes were very small. This meant that the losses from the combine, those seeds that carried straight through in the straw were a bit higher than normal although fairly insignificant in terms of yield loss and on the bright side added to the cover mix.
The peas where slightly up on last year and have some fantastic colour so will make a good price in a difficult market. The wheat we harvested was very variable with some every good yields, in excess of 10t/ha and also some wheat from the hill that were slightly disappointing yielding about 8t/ha. All of the quality has been excellent and with very little drying costs due to the lovely warm sunny weather.
Our new MacDon draper header performed really well across all of the crops we harvested. It was easy to hitch onto the combine and very easy to alter the header angle and draper speed on the move during operation.
Harvest can be a long drawn out season but thankfully this year; with near perfect weather, it was over in time for a bank holiday weekend off for everyone, the last one was in 2003! Thanks to all the hard work and effort put in by the whole team and also for the patience to those in the village often held up with tractors and trailers rolling through the village.