So that was harvest.

As harvest fades from memory it’s time for a short period of reflection on how it all went. We are left with a large pile of wheat which day by day is worth less and less. It is saved to some extent by the fall in value of sterling, thanks to the Brexit debacle, other wise it could be worth even less. We have a policy of ensuring about 50% of our wheat is sold before harvest, but with bigger yields than budgeted for that is now only 41%. Depending on what happens over the next few days and weeks leading up to the 31st October, yield may no longer be king. Rather producing an end product for the minimum cost may well be the new mantra.

Whilst I mourn the loss of rape from the rotation I am content with my decision for this year. It’s ironic that the French will have to import rape from Canada that uses neonics, whilst their own farmers cannot. I have mentioned before the hypocrisy of exporting our environmental footprint. Expect to see much more of this, especially concerning food standards, if we leave without a deal. We all need to get this message across to our consumers. However, I fear that rising food costs may deafen our cries of buy British.

The jolly green giant brought the harvest home once again, but not without a few annoying faults all adding to the expense. Despite having a full service agreement and an extended warranty there is still a minimum payment required for each breakdown. So much for knowing your costs! The upside is Farol, our local John Deere dealer, have gone the extra mile to keep us going and for that they have my grateful thanks. The service department have a difficult job to do which they perform with the utmost professionalism. So thanks to Jack, Ian, Barry and Sam for your help. As always, the team here at Dunsden Green need a special thank you. Ian for his tireless work and enthusiasm in the grain store and to new man Jay for fitting in so well. Finally to Ivan, our harvest student from Reading University, for becoming a competent tractor operator having never driven one before. Last night we had our annual harvest supper, where we also made a small presentation to the now retired Ken. Details of our various trial results will follow in due course.

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