Harvest a year-round occupation for Cowbit farmer

William Tyrrell.
William Tyrrell.
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August is here and the traditional harvest time is on us. Well, that’s what you would think on the face of it, except in this area it’s slightly more complicated, writes William Tyrrell.

We harvested our winter barley a few weeks ago and by the time you read this will hopefully, with the co-operation of the weather, be harvesting winter wheat, our ninth harvested crop of the year so far, with three more to go.

We start with daffodil flowers in late January and finish with sugar beet in December, making harvest for us virtually a year-round process.

There are many farms and nurseries in South Holland which have a similar cycle, especially the vegetable industry, but on a national scale this often seems to be overlooked. Big tractors, shiny combines and bright sunshine seem to have more appeal than people bent double in a cold wet field in February.

Previously I mentioned how crops seemed to be early compared to previous years and this pattern is continuing. Discussing this with father, he said this was the case “in the summer of ’76”, followed after the end of August by an “interesting” autumn. I won’t go into more detail because of the danger of jinxing the weather, but it’s a thought which we are keeping in the back of our minds.

After the combines have been put away and the dust has settled, spare a thought for those of us who still have a long way to go to ensure all is safely gathered in.