We are entering uncharted territory, the grain stores bulge with wet grain and damp beans. Beans were combined until 1.30 am this morning and we hope to get the rest of the bean crop today before the next band of forecasted rain due at tea-time today, everyone is exhausted.
The challenge of the Century is to now dry these crops without spoilage. We are not alone. This occurrence is being repeated all over the country by those who either have harvested, or are still trying to harvest sodden crops from sodden fields.
At Prosperous Farm the moisture varies from 18 to 25 percent, 15 percent is what is needed. Both labour and energy costs will be very high this year as huge efforts by both men and machines are concentrated on preventing spoilage in these gigantic heaps. However, we are the lucky ones as many farmers have written off their crops and unless conditions improve some farmers will not even be able to sow next year’s crops either. The newly purchased grain stirrer is currently creeping around the very deep pile of wheat and the fans are on full. More calor gas and more heaters have been ordered, and reading the electric meters beside the grain stores, in due course, will not be a job for the fainthearted.