Harvest for most this year was more difficult than appeared possible during July, writes Chris Carter.
It seemed as if we’d be finished and ready for the autumn by mid-August. All went swimmingly with oilseed rape being tied up in double quick time albeit with rather less than spectacular results. Wheat followed on with decent yields as well as helpful moisture readings.
Then Hurricane Bertha intervened and we had two weeks of typically catchy combining rushing around trying to find dry fields. Most in the south Lincolnshire area are now finished but in reality we are not much earlier than normal and one wonders what went wrong? Of course it’s just Mother Nature reminding us that she’s the boss, not our talented crop scientists who work long and hard to develop new, earlier and better yielding varieties.
Now, as our county chairman reminded us, we are attempting to deal with the new edicts from Defra on new CAP rules, especially now that greening seems to have become part of our daily lives. We are being drip fed the new rules as it would seem they are being amended as problems occur and we probably won’t know most of the answers until next May.
Until then we have to busy ourselves with establishing definitions: define arable field; what is a hedge? So it goes on and no doubt many farmers will be calling the helpline with problems that our Defra masters never considered; it’s called policy on the hoof I suppose.