Harvest was completed in record time, due to both the new combine and a good weather window in which to harvest. The oilseed rape, even after losing about 10% due to hail, produced a yield of 1.7t/acre (4.2t/hectare), which was, given the difficult growing conditions, very pleasing. The winter barley yielded around 3.2t/acre (7.9t/h) of top quality malting barley which was really good. The straw was very good quality and there was plenty of it. The wheat was a little disappointing compared to the other crops, this is due to the wet and cold weather in June, when the wheat was flowering.
All the ploughing and cultivating in preparation for the autumn drilled cereals has been completed, again in very good time. The drilling will start in the last week of September. The sugar beet are looking good and we will begin harvesting the first of them in the next few weeks. We have noticed that our fuel usage had dropped considerably due to newer and more efficient engines in our new combine and large tractor also a larger 6 furrow plough and the crumbler & press cultivator we bought last year have helped to reduce consumption. This is good both financially and environmentally beneficial as it means fewer emissions are being released.
The calves -which are now 8 months old- are now being creep fed, the idea being to get them eating solid concentrates before they are weaned so that when they are weaned in about a month's time they are used to eating it. At this time of the year we are usually feeding straw to cattle out at grass, however this year the grass has been so good that we have not needed to yet, although we will start soon. Due to the amount of grass available we decided to make a second cut of hay and now have a surplus, so we have some hay for sale.
Ram sales have been continuing, with 35 out of 45 shearling rams sold. We are pleased that 5 of the rams were purchased to be used in pedigree Suffolk flocks, the rest for use in commercial meat producing flocks.