Sunday, 14 October 2018

Harvest Roundup

Harvest 2018 was a very interesting time with some very strange results, although probably not surprising considering the weather that has been thrown at the crops this year. The weather went from a very late cold spring (snow ploughing at the start of March), through to a warm spell at the end of April and then straight into summer. We had some rain at the end of May and then into a very hot and dry June (3.8mm) and July (36mm). The winter crops didn't fair too badly on the whole and grain quality was fantastic. The milling wheat averaged about 10% down from our rolling average and proteins were very high, and with good hagbergs (stretchyness for flour). We trialled a new monitor, called a Crop Scan in the combine this year which measures the protein levels of the grain as we harvested. This gave us some very valuable real time information of crop quality. It also showed the grain moisture. This was installed by Precision Decisions and supplied by Agri-EPI and is a very interesting piece of farm equipment.
Winter Oilseed rape was down 10% but the winter malting barley actually increased its yield from last year. The disappointment came when we started combining the spring crops. These were typically 30% down on our historic yields, although quality was good. The recent increase in prices due to lower world yields will not make up the financial difference incased by lower yields. On the plus side we didn't need to buy any diesel for drying the grain and all of the farm machinery behaved very well with no real hiccups!

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