Thursday 31st July, 2008
As we begin to disect the season we all seem to think that it has been the most frenetic for years due to the good growing conditions, high temperatures and something like normal yields. Anyway only a few more days and then we can all reaquaint ourselves with our families and homes!
Friday 25th July, 2008
B Boy oh boy are we under pressure! The peas are maturing rapidly and we are still in good yields. This means that we cannot get the acreage cleared and that we are having to by-pass crops. These are not wasted, and we shall combine them at a later date, and use the peas for seed, and the excess shall be sold off for feed. Not a disaster, but a pain as my season gets extended! The boys are now harvesting in the Bicker area and will then move down to Boston West for 100 acres. They have worked relentlessly over the last four weeks and continue to give it their all. Hello to the Farmer from down under, whom I believe looked in on the blog yesterday. I understand that it was raining with you there. It's not here, dry and 28C!
Saturday 19th July, 2008
I note that it has been six days since I did a blog. I have an excuse, busy, busy, busy! The crops we are in at the moment are yielding OK, but then the last two years have been dreadful. This means we have been chasing crops all week and we nearly got there, but we have had to by-pass 60 acres. These will be combined at a later date, and if suitable be used for seed next year. Those that are surplus to requirements will be sold as dried peas. Tomorrow we shall finish harvesting in Holbeach Marsh and then move across to Moulton Eaugate and Whaplode Drove. Once they are done we shall be at Pinchbeck and Market Deeping before settling at Tonge End for 300 acres of Serge.
Sunday 13th July, 2008
We are harvesting the last of the Organic peas today. If you look at the picture closely there are some peas there somewhere! The photograph does however illustrate what crops could look like if the proposed banning of certain chemicals within the EU is allowed to go ahead. This would have a severe effect on yield. We are in some good crops of Novella at the moment , and need the machines and the factory to perform well if we are to stay on top. It has now clouded over also which should help.
Tuesday 8th July, 2008
Not a particularly good photograph, but it does show that we do run 24 hours! It was a busy weekend in the Friskney and Toynton area. We are moving at some pace because the Organic peas and Conventional peas south of Boston look like they will begin to push us. They were reading in the low 90s yesterday so we should be down there in 48 hours which is about right. I am pleased to see the cooler temperatures from a harvesting viewpoint, but a bit more sun for those in flower would be welcome. (Never satisfied!) Today will see us clear up the Premio, and then we shall go to some Gonzo at Wrangle which has grown incredibly tall and looks a very good crop. However you can never tell until you get into them. As far as yields go generally campared to the last two years they are OK. I think the pressure will still be on going forward, and we therefore need to maximise our machinery and the factory space. I could bang on about the G8 summit and what the so called experts are saying, but it does intrige me the the PM is advising us not to waste food. I don't think he is somehow qualified to comment on how not to be wasteful!
Saturday 5th July, 2008
As you can see we don't travel light. This was taken after a big move with the consequence being that you have all the lorries stacked up and no peas for them! All peas through the programme are now moving and I cannot see us stopping for some time now.
The crops we are currently in are being harvested as AA150 minute peas. This means that the first pea harvested will be frozen within 150 minutes to maximise its freshness and quality. They are expensive to produce and to command a premium, which they need to as the haulage costs are almost double for these types of crops. I do think that the blue touch paper has now been lit, and that peas will keep coming at us. No stopping now.
Wednesday 2nd July, 2008
Having had the weekend to allow the peas to mature we're off again 24hrs on the Heath north of Sleaford. The viners are in a crop of Style supplied by Church of Bures. It is not a variety that we have grown before, but due to the general shortage of seed we had no choice. It does look as though it will perform well, so by accident we may well have found another variety that we can grow on the Heath. Another 100 acres up here and then over to Toynton, followed by Tattershall. On the hottest day of the year you do expect problems with harvesting machinery and factories having to work under high temperatures, I'm pleased to say that both performed well.
It was good to meet the ASDA buying Team who visited the field to see first hand what we actually do. As we know Retailers are price/quality driven, there seem to be no issues with the quality, but the ever rising oil prices and firm markets for Oilseed Rape and Wheat will inevitably mean that Growers will not be asking if there is going to be a price rise for 2009, but how much will the price rise by. These discussions will not doubt start over the coming weeks.