The last couple of days have seen a cloudy, showery period with just over an inch of rain. Very welcome indeed. Evidence of it, in puddles on the Cart Track, will probably been gone by Monday but the beans, in particular, will benefit from it a lot. Although the crop is short it has flowered very well and hopefully the bees from Cedar Lodge will make the most of the sunny weather to work their magic. The upper pods appear to be filling well and the lower flowers have set pods, albeit very small at the moment. Hopefully, this rain will allow them to fill as well. Beans are very weather dependant crop and it is notoriously difficult to predict what yield will result. They are far more fickle than cereals or sugar beet and are a prime example of weather being all powerful where profits are concerned, regardless of the skill of the farmer or the shininess of his expensive machinery.
Harvest is not more than 10 days away for some of our neighbours and I expect that some light land barley will be cut next week. I am glad that we have had a cools showery week which will allow the crops more time to ripen naturally rather than die off. It tends to help grain quality a bit. We should be taking delivery of a new John Deere combine any day. Same model as before but many improvements that should make harvest more efficient. It is fitted with the latest satellite guidance equipment which allows it to record yield and produces yield maps which will be recorded on our own arable management programme. The programme can instruct the fertilizer spreader to vary rates depending on historical yield data and also control seeding rates on our drill to give us more efficient use of seed and fertilizer. We have just been informed that the variable rates part of the software is not ready yet. Somewhat worrying when it will be needed in seven weeks’ time. It’s a bit like buying a new car and being told the windscreen wipers don’t work but will do at some point in the future. No repayment of purchase price has been suggested yet but the dealer will lend us a controller until ours is ready. I expect it has a virus – or its manufacturer has.
Other equipment servicing is nearly done although we are still waiting for one set of earth wearing parts to arrive. They were ordered in March as we were anticipating delays in delivery and to be fair we were given an end of June delivery date at the time. In general the machinery dealerships have done a very good job in coping with all the problems of lockdown. There are several cases of parts being incorrectly supplied but I think this is a problem which is common to automotive and truck part suppliers as well. Machines have just become so complex and specifications change so frequently that it has become impossible for suppliers to stock every part. The longer the chains of supply, the more chance there is of mistakes happening. The moral of the story seems to be do not leave any repairs or servicing to the last minute or you may be disappointed.