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Russell McKenzie: 'You only live once and it should not just be for work'

Brutal is how I would describe this autumn. It has seen relentless unsettled weather with a barrage of rain and showers, and not many dry days in between.

On the positive side, we planted 275 hectares (680 acres) of wheat out of the 445ha (1,100 acres) planned.

 

However, I fear the potential may be limited with slow emergence and the lateness of drilling.

 

But others have not had the opportunity to get much, or anything, in at all.

 

Heavy trailed drills have become tender soil’s worst enemy this year, resulting in a demand for lighter weight mounted tine drills and a lot of resurrecting machines from the back of the shed or searching the country (and abroad) for these type of drills.

 

In theory you should never gear up for that once-in-every-10-years difficult season, but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and revert to plan B, or maybe C, D, or even E.

 

Inevitably this pushes spring cropping into focus and spring wheat has all but sold out in a short window.

 

Prices also rose rapidly due to demand in that time.

 

I admit to pushing the button on a 25-tonne order 10 days ago when some blocks of land were looking more un-drillable by the day.

 

This was also driven by the fact I could not get excited by the prospect of a large spring barley area with prices under pressure, especially after a recent experience with some questionable rejections on outgoing loads.


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A potentially big area of a crop which in reality has a finite demand does not bode well.

 

Whatever the season, it is important to take time out from work and value moments with your family, especially if you have children.

 

I am a massive cricket fan and have been fortunate to watch my youngest represent Northamptonshire.

 

You can’t get that time back and no matter how difficult work gets with the long hours, it is important to cherish family time and feel no guilt about creating memories. You only live once and it should not just be for work.

 

A poignant thought for my last column. Thank you to all who have read them and, if you haven’t, you did not miss much!

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