Helen Harris: Poor take-up on fodder scheme is baffling - and ominous
We eventually completed our main harvest but instead of improving, the results just went from bad to worse as the harvest went on.
The winter crops were only average, but the spring crops were verging from bad to disastrous.
One spring barley field Mickle did 2.5 mt per acre and others returned 1.6 mt per acre.
Both had very short straw crops and when they were baled, one only did two round bales to the acre and even less on the other fields.
It is really disheartening to work all year and try and do everything as best you can, and then have results like that. We still have the beans to cut but again I don't think the yield is going to be too hectic.
Most farmers that are buying straw this year think it's very dear. For us, if we have less than half the straw we would normally have off some fields, we would need the price to be double that of last year to make the same money. This is the first year in my memory that all farming sectors are being hit hard at the same time.
Normally when tillage is happy, then dairy and dry stock are not and vice versa. This year is going to be a tough financial one on everyone. It's a very stressful time.
After clearing the fields, we spread chicken litter and disked it in. We then sowed our oil seed rape.