We have been flying along with the harvest on the farm this year, writes farm manager Simon Day.
Things kicked off with a record early start by harvesting wheat in July. This drew to a close by mid-August, despite it being the second wettest in the last 20 years. Crop yields were slightly above our average, which was pleasing, but the price of commodities is hitting the lowest point for a number of years.
We have also just finished the maize harvest which we were glad to have in the clamp before the recent rains arrived. The maize will now be stored and used over the next year to feed the biogas plant. This takes a mixture of feed stocks, some grown and some waste products to produce methane, which will be used to run an engine to generate electricity. As the plant takes about 30,000t of product in, a proportion passes through and will come out of the process as a product called digestate. This will be full of different nutrients that we will apply back to the land, cutting down our bought in fertiliser requirements and helping with the organic matter levels in the soil.
Potato harvest is also drawing to a close. It seems a long time since mid-August when we started, but we have managed to get the crop lifted and stored fairly trouble free. It would be nice now if it would stop raining for us to be able to complete the last 100 acres.