A soggy harvest

We finished harvest on the 15th August last year, what a difference 12 months makes. Same date and we still have 90ha of wheat to cut along with the spring oats and malting barley, making a total of 250ha left to harvest. I realise we are much better off than many and last year was a one off, but it is still very frustrating. Looking on the positives, only a area of some 10 ha has gone down in a field of spring barley so far. Plus the dryer which has been running non stop for the last week hasn’t needed a refuel since 2017. Just as well, because the 3 tanks hold 24,000lts of gas in total, which does not come cheap. It has now received a top up as the dryer continues to run and there is no let up with the unsettled conditions.

The combine has had a few niggles this year mostly electrical and is receiving the attentions of the dealer at the moment. Gone are the days when you could fix it with a basic toolkit, you now need a technician with a laptop. We pay for a mobile RTK signal on one of our GPS domes. It uses a mobile sim card to provide a correction signal and is much more accurate than the basic Starfire system.  It will take you back to the exact spot 12 months later. We put the tramlines in with the drill tractor then send them back out to the other tractors. They are now exactly 30m apart and always in the same place. We move the RTK dome onto the combine for harvest for a more accurate cut. The annual renewal which requires an activation code fell due the day after harvest started which was a month ago. The code supplied would not work and it has taken until now for John Deere to get us going again on RTK by lending us another dome. I am not impressed and expect at the very least to have 1 months subscription riemburshed. It would be interesting to find out if this has happened to anyone else. Apparently we are the only ones to suffer from this.

Interestingly the Skyfall wheat has consistently been 1-2% wetter than the Zyatt. I can only put this down to the much more open glumes on the Skyfall. Perhaps this is why it can have sprouting issues. We have not had any tested yet so I am yet to find out how hagbergs are holding up. So far wheat yields have been an impressive 10-15% above budget. Looks like a year with a big heap but worth a lot less. Still that’s farming I suppose. Its stopped raining at last so time to get out and look in the rain gauge.


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