I drew the short straw and get to inform, entertain or annoy you with my harvest weary ramblings, writes Ian Stancer.
I hesitate to say you are lucky to read them, as you’ll be the judge of that.
However, today is that common phenomenon…. a wet bank holiday, so I have an evening away from the grindstone.
Harvest has been going in fits and starts with a few fields left to finish. None of our crop was drilled early so we missed all the nice weather in July when progress was easy.
Yields have been very variable with some pleasing results and some very much below expectations where blackgrass has managed to take over. Where drilling was delayed we achieved some of the best results with even second wheat drilled in December doing remarkably well in the absence of weed competition. However, any rash decisions about future strategies based on this year must be tempered with the influence of a very mild winter. What is clear is that a plan of fundamental changes must be developed now to tackle this frustrating weed.
This week DEFRA sent out a booklet containing a few more scraps of detail on accessing the new CAP Information Service, as well as cross compliance and greening, including crop diversification, where everything from barley to borage, and potatoes to pie squash are defined along with Ecological Focus Areas. All these joys await us once the harvest is finally gathered; there is no escape so we may as well get used to it. Stay safe.