Now we are up and away.

The jolly green giant is back out strutting her stuff again. Not quite a flawless start as 2 sets of belts that should have been changed over the winter failed during the first 100ha. Nevertheless, 940 tonnes of feed barley are either in the shed or have been collected and that crop can be ticked off the list. At 8.3t/ha over our weighbridge, that’s just over a tonne to the hectare above our 5 year running average. The range of yield was 7.4 – 9t/ha. Despite the average grain moisture of 12%, in places the straw was completely green and gave us harvesting and baling problems. This is even after we abandoned the first attempt and gave it another week, however it barely changed. Possible causes are the 70mm of rain in mid June, or it could be the late, low dose application of an SDHI fungicide at awn emergence. Following NIAB advice I now use 3 fungicide timings, but all pushed back so the T0 is with the first growth regulator. The second is done at flag leaf with another growth regulator and the third at awns emerged. This cost £10/ha over and above last years fungicide application, but I got an extra tonne to the hectare. Some of this was obviously due to the weather, but not all of it, so it was more than paid for.

Now that I have got both the winter linseed and oilseed rape desiccated they are next on the to do list. Hopefully that will then lead into the rapidly ripening winter wheat and spring barley.

It’,s been a fascinating week politically so has kept me amused on the combine thanks to the radio. I pass the long hours listening to music, interspersed with current affairs programmes and answering phone calls and emails. So, as expected, Boris got the job that he has always craved and in doing so has had more than a fair share in the Brexit mess. Whilst I voted remain, I accept the democratic will of the people and yet another referendum will not solve the problem. The previous administration has just wasted 3 years and we are still no further forward. The wholesale sacking of the cabinet and the threat of no deal is certainly coming at it from a different angle. We have to give him a chance, because so far the failure to get it sorted is affecting all our lives. However, if he gets it wrong and we crash out without a deal are you prepared for it? Despite my best efforts you cannot plan entirely for the unknown. Now back to the day job, still a lot to gather in yet.

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