A couple of day's frantic activity is coming to the end. It took all of seven hours for the contractor to harvest the wheat on Monday. With two combines, it is over before you know it. I was beginning to get frustrated waiting for the moisture levels of the grain to reduce but our patience has paid off because we were able to put it straight into the stores without the need to dry. Yields not surprisingly down on last years record but better than originally expected. Overall, the weather around harvest has been kinder this year than last.
The two fields we have allocated to sow with oilseed rape next year were broadcast with the seed prior to wheat harvest. This method provides large savings in establishment costs as the only "cultivation" required is two passes of a cambridge roll. We have found that for us this is the most reliable and cheapest way to establish the crop. By broadcasting, we also provide more over-winter stubble, which has the potential to be a good source of grain and weed seeds. The contractor has already started cultivations in preparation for next year's wheat crops. The spring beans should be harvested within two weeks weather permitting.
The two barn owl chicks fledged at the start of the month are still regularly seen around the barns. The breeding season for most species has ended but there are still a few yellowhammer, blackbird, stock dove and swallow with chicks. We are in the process of analyzing 2009 breeding season following our annual breeding season monitoring which started in April and finished at the end of June. Overall, it looks to have been a good year. Results will be on the website within the next couple of weeks.
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