The recent dry weather has been a godsend. Combines have been flat out here in the North West over the last two weeks. Grass silage harvesting has been equally as busy and we noticed the drills are coming out.
From a grazing point of view, the dairy herds appear to be clearing residuals down lower as a result of the improved weather, which is also a boost.
Maize is enjoying the sunshine and looks to be on course for a slightly earlier harvest than last year, with hopefully fewer challenges and twisted axles.
A repeat of last year’s harvesting conditions would raise the question of the viability of growing this crop or at least a review of the acreage.
Morale on farm has been tested this summer with the difficult harvesting conditions. Prior to the weather improving, I visited a local farmer who had many acres to combine and was feeling rather downcast.
After 10 minutes of listening to some of our mini disasters it would be fair to say his mood had definitely lifted.
On a serious note, what this did do was to remind me of how important relationships are within our agricultural community.
A snapshot view of what appears to be happening within British politics is making me feel uneasy. News reports of the Internal Market Bill currently suggest Britain may be unlikely to secure a trade deal with either America or Europe.
The potential implications of this could be huge for us as farmers, from lamb and beef exports, to potentially significant impacts on currency and therefore the cost of foreign labour, imports and goods.
Let’s hope common sense will find a way through what seems a very difficult situation.
As Covid-19 appears to be entering a second wave, we as an industry are acutely aware of the implications of shutting down the food service sector as a result of any future lockdowns and hope that this would be a very last-resort.
On a personal note, our Christmas turkeys, while growing nicely, may have to accept a request to go on a diet as the ’rule of six’ suggests some of the bigger weights may be unnecessary this year.
Jobs for the week. With the cleared silage ground, we will be looking to empty lagoons before the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone deadline day.
TB testing is upon us and we will try to fit this work in when weather conditions keep us out of the field.
Feeding the dairy herds has now intensified as autumn progresses.
Luckily we have a little maize left over which compliments late season grazing quite nicely.
Farm assurance will soon be upon us. It will be interesting to see what format this takes as I understand some assessments are being carried out remotely, which might be challenging but not impossible provided my five year old is on standby to help out with the IT.