Grey and wet yesterday, and today we woke to a nondescript morning, is there any other type of weather?
Nevertheless we do feel very lucky compared to many others in parts of the country especially the NE and the West. To date we have had 19 inches of rain already this year [average is 22 inches], and already in September we have had over 1.5 ins [40 mm] , and over 3 inches [80mm] in August.
This afternoon is much brighter and drier although the wheat still tests at a depressing 24% moisture, which would normally be too wet for Jethro to cope with. However he has come up with a cunning plan involving the hire of space heaters and all manner of inventions in order to try to keep moving forward and dry the grains. The combine is presently , as I update this, moving forward, and we just hope it doesn’t get stuck.
The ploughing has restarted over the last few days and has been going quite well; it is what to do next that is Jethro’s current problem. The beans are too soft to harvest and the ground is too wet. These clay soils are the very worst in these sort of damp ongoing conditions and the quandary is not knowing whether it will continue to be wet or might we get a dry spell, and if so for how long?
Despite modern 21st Century agriculture having the most up to date equipment and technology when nature intervenes [or is it determined by a Higher Power?] there is nothing to be done except revert to old farming principles and make it up as best as you can as you go along. Just wait and see, there will be many fewer yellow fields next year as the oil seed rape cannot be easily sown this year.
It appears not just to be nature [or even a Higher Power] that is making decisions, farmers are ruled by the European Commission rules on almost everything. This article shows how very ludicrous it all is… allowing it is one thing but whether the wheels will be able to turn is another matter altogether.
Once upon a time farming was simpler, now I am not at all sure that the huge workload combined with the weather, the effort, and dealing with the POLITICS of it all makes it worthwhile. Perhaps I am just feeling my great age.
Later edit: 7.30pm The combine is now trying to open up a path through the bean field next to the wheat, as the wheat field is now too sticky to turn in.
Jethro says it will take 1 million BTU’s of heat to dry this wheat cut at 24% moisture…. what ever will the cost of that be?