We are in the lull before harvest starts probably in about 2 weeks. We have finished the season’s work in the crops and are now getting the buildings and machinery ready for the long days and hard work of harvest. Most crops look full of potential although the last couple of weeks of very high temperatures is not what we wanted because it has the possibility to cause crops to senesce rather than to fill the grain.
Harvest will start with our oilseed rape, which we will desiccate in the next 7-10 days, ready to harvest 14-21 days later. We will then move into the winter wheat followed by the spring wheat finishing up with some linseed in September. We also have a field of Canary seed to cut, but it is the first time that we have grown this crop for the birdseed market, so we’ll see how we get on.
Before we have got through harvest, we will hopefully have already started sowing next year’s crops with the oilseed rape going in the ground towards the end of August.
As you can imagine, there is lots of planning for next season being done. We have been looking at the crops and the varieties of each crop that we want to grow. We will still grow some wheat for Weetabix and also for Warburtons and are intending to continue with oilseed rape even though its profitability and the difficulties of growing it have made it questionable on a lot of farms. The big change is that we are looking into growing some feedstock crops for a local Anaerobic Digester plant which produces energy. This will be Maize, Hybrid Rye or grass or a combination of them. It's an opportunity we feel we should look at particularly as prices of our main crops are at a level that makes making a profit difficult but I can't help but feel a pang of guilt about moving some of our land out of food production, especially when there is such a need for food in the world generally.
I will leave Rosie to blog about our sheep flock but it's worth me saying that we now have some lambs ready and available for purchase, please contact us if you are interested. We are starting to plan for next years lamb crop as well, so we need to buy some breeding sheep and a ram- it's just deciding what we want.
It's been a big month as far as our offices are concerned as well, we have installed a leased line which is our own dedicated high speed broadband service. This will provide all who base their business with us not only with a high quality work environment but with fast broadband and communications as well.
I will endeavor to blog again as harvest starts in earnest.