With no oilseed rape or winter barley in the ground I was not expecting an early start to harvest and that is how it looks at the moment.
Our earliest crop will be some early spring-sown barley on light land, which may be ready to cut in the last week of this month.
However, the recent rain has created a late flush of secondary tillering which has greened things up again.
Unfortunately, there is only a small amount that will be ready then, and other than a bit of winter wheat on light land, it will be a bit of a wait before we really get going.
My big fear from the high proportion of spring cropping was the potential detrimental impact on next year, something I was very keen to minimise.
However, with a large area of spring beans and canary seed, a late finish could well be on the cards.
The dry conditions, although not necessarily ideal for building yield, coming when it did, at least helped to move things along, which may improve harvest logistics at the back end.
Most of the crops are now starting to turn, including the canary seed and spring oats mainly on the lighter land, but the spring-drilled winter beans and spring beans are still looking very green.
I typically find harvest exciting, full of promise and anticipation, however this year it just feels like another job to be completed so we can wipe the slate clean and get on with next year’s crops.
It has been difficult at times to get motivated this season, and it is incredibly disappointing to go through all the hard work and stress of the last 12 months only to do little more than break even.
I feared that with the condition soils were in this spring quite a lot of remedial action may be required this autumn ahead of drilling, however the dry spell has again helped us on this front too.
This should enable us to direct drill a greater proportion, just paying particular attention to areas receiving manure or sewage sludge, or patches where establishment last autumn was poor.
This is particularly the case on the headlands of some of the winter bean ground.
Samples from seed purchased for use last autumn has recently been sent to the lab to understand what impact the 12-month wait for planting has had on germination levels. Hopefully, without a Deter dressing, these will have held up and we will not need to purchase too much extra for this autumn.
July has been reasonably steady going, with harvest still some way off and applications largely finished, which has allowed maintenance work to be carried out on some of the machinery. The new sprayer that was bought this spring has not really been tested so far.
It arrived too close to the rush in spring to fit the Avadex applicator to it, so this has been the focus over the last couple of weeks. It has taken a bit of planning to get all the outlets, domes and pipes fitted and lined up, but the guys have managed to make a good job of it.
The trailers have also all been through their paces with the annual brake test. Thankfully they have all passed this year, after a few required some attention last year.
The recent moisture has improved the situation for the game and stewardship plots, with some recovering well, however we have not been able to avoid the need to re-drill some areas.
Thankfully, this has now gone into some moisture and warmth, so has started to come through quickly.