FARMING MATTERS: The wheat harvest is in with fair results

Copyright Heather Jan Brunt
Copyright Heather Jan Brunt

I wrote a few weeks ago about the barley harvest, and now we have brought in the wheat.

We had two fields of wheat this year and one has produced a better yield than the other, but the overall harvest has been pleasing and we hope it will go for bread making.

The first field to be harvested was a little disappointing due to agronomic conditions. It was the first year of wheat out of a grass ley and had a bit of grass in it therefore didn’t yield as well as hoped.

The second field was more reassuring, with a crop coming after beans were grown there last year, and it came in looking really good.

We used the Crusoe variety of wheat, which is a good quality milling wheat expected to bring high yields, and we await the results of tests carried out by Heygates Mill at Tring to hear whether it will go for bread.

Harvest is always a busy and sociable time of year, with all the various machines working to bring the crops in.

The trailer empties the wheat into the yard

The trailer empties the wheat into the yard

As well as the combine, which is actually harvesting the crop, a tractor and trailer has to constantly run back and forth from the field to the yard.

This is to collect the grain as the combine periodically empties.

The trailer then comes into the farmyard to off load the grain before going back out into the field to collect the next load.

The grain is stored in the yard while samples are taken for testing, and then eventually large grain trucks will come to collect it and take it to the mill.

The straw is then baled up to use for winter bedding

The straw is then baled up to use for winter bedding

Once the field has been cleared of grain, the baler then arrives to bale up the straw which is left behind, for use as bedding for the cattle when they come indoors for the winter.

The Merlo will be used to grab the enormous bales and place them on heavyweight trailers to be taken into the yards and stored ready for the winter.

So the whole job of harvesting a field does take a lot of work, several different machines, and can last a few days.