Thursday 30th June, 2011
The temperature rose, but the peas did not move any quicker so we found ourselves having to stop and wait again. It may be that this is a feature of the 2011 season. No good for us, and no good for our customers.
The plan made in the winter is to drill the peas so that we continue 24hrs a day for just over 40 days. That is however, based on average temperatures and rainfall, which this growing season has not seen as we all know. No doubt it will be the case that the peas will be ready again at the weekend!
Message for Jake. We should be in Bannister's peas early next week.
Wednesday 22nd June, 2011
The boilers are now stoked up again and the peas are ready north of Boston, so it's full steam ahead for a few days.
Friday 17th June, 2011
Tonight saw us complete the peas at Tattershall, and with the Fen not reading high enough we will be stopping for a few days. At Cereals last week Sally Elkington of Lincs FM was talking to me about the pea harvest and an impromtu interview took place. Can't remember all that I said, but the results will be broadcast this Sunday on the Lincs FM Farming programme at 7am. The Pod Squad will be tunned in!
Wednesday 15th June, 2011
Harvesting at Patrick Dean's Farm near Lincoln, who just happen to be hosting Cereals this year. You could never plan that this would happen! With such a huge volume of traffic expected there were various road closures in the area which could have proved to be a bit of a challenge, but the local law enforcement agency were more than happy to let us go where we wanted as long as we stayed clear of the A15.
We are harvesting Style which is a variety that looks like it is well passed it's best before you harvest it, but the peas are going in as A and B grade which is spot on. As for Cereals, great event, lots of impressive machinery and trial plots, and the above. Maybe we will modify a pea viner in the winter!
Tuesday 14th June, 2011
A visit by the brains fo the industry to look at some trials in one of our fields. Robert Church (Church of Bures) drilled some plots in of our fields, and some of the new material coming through from the States does look promising.
These are always good times to catch up between Groups and compare how each variety is doing in the early stages of the season. The rain of the weekend has certainly perked things up, and the crops has visibly altered. I still do not think it is enough to make up for the effects of the drought and frost, despite what others may think.
Monday 13th June, 2011
After exams and I suspect a few celebrations our students, Jamie and Nick, have landed. So now we have a full team. However we would not have got through the last few days as easily as we did without the help of Mark and Harry, who came in at the last minute to cover for the late arrivals. This afternoon on The Heath it was dust behind the wheels. So much for the rain!
Sunday 12th June, 2011
I don't know what it is about this year but we seem to be having a lot of aerial viewers! However I don't think I would wish to be in the ballon at that height! We have now had a few days hard at it with a bit of travelling around the county. As expected yields are down, but there is a significant yield benefit where the peas have been irrigated.
Today will see us complete Sleaford and then move up to Lincoln Heath in the early hours. Next week will be spent up and down the Heath, but not disrupting the Cereals traffic too much! If you are into the Classics then the picture below will bring to mind the flight of Icarus. I can report that he came out the other side, wings entact.
Wednesday 8th June, 2011
We are away! Just a day shift today to feel our way in to the crops. A difficult first few hours getting the machines set so they could pick the crop up. Had to fetch the first field. With the short straw this year it will be something that will probably need looking at all the time. Too early to give an opinion on what the rest of the crops may hold, but there is a significant difference where we have irrigated the peas. No surprises there!
Saturday 4th June, 2011
With the May weather figures out, and the word drought and 1976 featuring in the media most days, I think that people not involved in food production must surely be aware of what problems this harvest could bring.
It is very difficult to put any sort of meat on the bone yet, regarding yields, until we start harvesting. That will be soon. The runners and riders have been weighed in, no more bets being taken, and the riders approach the starting post, waiting for the starter to give the off! One more thing is that the reliable Michael returns in the morning, thank goodness.