working again

Well this afternoon at 2pm the combine started again in the oats and is still going as I write.  I believe the yield is nothing special as a lot of the ripened grains had already fallen out of the ears and on to the ground, but at least we are able to get most of it and we will be able to confirm the total tonnage later.

This is not the case in other parts of the country. News has reached me of grave harvest difficulties in the South West of England.

“2008, the harvest from hell” is what the Cornish farmer actually reported. Parts of Cornwall have had 24 consecutive days of recorded rain, 279.5mm in total. The oat crop on his farm is an almost total loss and the wheat is sprouting while standing up in the field.

This tale is repeated right across the UK, and to date the quality of this year’s crop has not even been mentioned. Actually being able to gather it in, is what matters at the moment and worries each individual farmer the most. The stress and worry of the current situation is very, very real and coping with the strain of this, day after day, is very hard for the families too. A whole year is spent growing and nurturing the crop and then if it is not possible to harvest it properly then the problems soon multiply, and yet there is nothing that can be done by anyone to change this until the weather settles.

With energy prices at their highest ever to date drying substandard grain is not going to be cost effective, however as it is coming off the fields so damp there is no choice. Leave the grains undried and the crop will ferment and germinate and be worthless.

I wonder if the weather men [weather guessers] are able to explain why our barometers have indicated high pressure and yet still it rains regularly. The forecast looks better for the rest of this week and we still have hope that they will be right this time. Nevertheless I am sure I am not the only person crossing my fingers in the hope that the whole country gets a spell of dry weather and a fair wind [but a gentle one] to dry the crops and help the industry progress with the trickiest harvest in living memory.

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Filed under Country Life, food and farming, rural musings

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