Until today it’s been a frustrating and painfully slow harvest on Tuckwells farm. We tend to find when a field has good yield potential the weather never plays ball, and this year has been no exception.
Oil Seed Rape
Until today we’ve had a three-week break from harvesting rape, but because of the uptake in weather, it’s all hands on deck. However, for next year we’ve decided to reduce the amount we are growing. The high-risk crop has good returns but we feel our soil needs a break. Establishing and carrying the crop into spring has been difficult the last few seasons, in the last few years, we’ve only had one really successful harvest. Our more environmentally friendly approach to pest control has also made the process more complicated as we no longer use chemicals to control flea beetles, they can now be a bit of a problem.
Overall though with the weather taking a brighter turn we will persevere and fingers crossed it looks like we will have a good return!
Something a little bit different we grow on the farm is Kobuchi peas. These peas are destined for Japan and one of the key quality points is they can’t have anything over 10% bleaching. This harvest we were lucky enough to get them just in time and in really good condition! The yields were good, but the downside of these peas are they are hard work on the combine. It took three or four days to harvest 65 hectares – which of course isn’t ideal.
Last Thursday we started harvesting, one afternoon and the weather hasn’t improved until today. We are pleased to report that there are early signs the crop will produce some good yields and has lots of potentials. It’s been quite a difficult season for us here in Suffolk. We’ve had a lot of rain with some places getting half an inch in a day! This has meant for our farm especially the growing conditions have been a bit spotty, but luckily this hasn’t affected the quality of the wheat.
For the next 10 days, we will all be working flat out to get most of the remaining work done, but we wait for the spring drilled wheat and laser-drilled winter wheat which isn’t quite ready yet.
We know for all arable farmers August is a really extreme month, it’s hard to find the happy medium between boiling weather and pouring rain. So, we wish all our customers and community a successful harvest and that we can all enjoy time with our families soon!