Yields from harvest 2013 were good – but we broke no records
With two brothers abroad, our family decided to have our own little gathering, for the year that was in it. When did they decide on having it? The last week of August, when the only gathering we were thinking about was the gathering in of the grain.
Our reunion was short but it was great to see the whole family. The 2013 harvest won't be remembered as fondly, but it wasn't a bad one either.
The yields and quality were good, but no records were broken. The weather was fine but a bit damp on a few of the days that we could have done with some more sunshine. All in all a pretty uneventful one – which in my book is a great year.
We like things to go smoothly and for nothing too drastic to happen one way or the other. When machinery is not put under pressure it makes life much easier. The wet years that force you to put the combine into the field, in not ideal conditions, are the years that seem to involve a lot more heartache.
The gap between harvest and sowing doesn't exist anymore. No sooner have we cleared the field of bales than we're straight back out with a stubble cultivator. We finished drying late one night and started ploughing the following morning.
This leaves jobs like drainage and hedge-cutting to get done in a very small window of time. We had more than 220ac of JB Diego winter wheat; we don't normally have that big a block in just one variety. It did 3.5t/ac at 16pc moisture.
The variety that really did better for us was Avatar winter wheat, which did 4t/ac also at 16pc moisture. When these two are brought back to 20pc moisture the yields look even better. The one disappointing variety was Grafton, which only did 3.2t/ac, again at 16pc moisture.