Free Fast Delivery
Every sale supports the wildlife trust
From farm to feeder
Issue 110 July
News from the Farm
TheWeather
'Come & visit our stand at the BirdFair, Rutland Water, between 18th - 20th August. It would be great to meet you'Nicholas Watts

June has certainly been warmer than average - looking back through my weather records it seems that the thermometer reaches 30°C in June about once in every five years. We had a very welcome 34mm, or 1.4 inches of rain on June 28th bringing the total June rainfall to 40 mm or 1.6 inches. We did have that warm spell when the temperature rose above 29°C for about five days, but in 1976 the temperature was at, or above, 27°C for 22 consecutive days, starting on June 22nd. From October 1975 to August 1976, I only recorded seven inches of rain; the ploughing remained dry throughout the winter. The countryside was like a desert by August, partly because of the searing heat in June and July.

What's HappeningOn the farm
2017 Harvest

Our crops did not enjoy that spell of warm weather; it was at a time when they were trying to fill pods and ears. You may have noticed green and yellow colours in the same fields - the yellows are where the crop has died, it couldn’t find enough moisture, but thankfully that didn’t happen on our good Fen soils.

We had one of the first combines in the country out in mid-June, harvesting a very unusual crop – organic stubble turnip seed. The crop looks very similar to oil seed rape. We are one of only two growers of organic turnip seed in the country, and whilst we are often one of the first to start our harvesting with a total of 13 different crops to get through, we are often the last to finish as we harvest our sunflowers in mid-October.

Potatoes were a good price through the winter, but over the last two months they have fallen by £200/ton and are now well below the cost of production. The high prices last autumn will have encouraged growers to plant a few more this spring. This isn’t good news as it looks as if we are heading for a low price year. There is just no way of controlling how many we produce each year and so we have to grin and bear the high and low prices. We did anticipate that this year would be a low price year, so we took more contracts out on a fixed price than usual.

World grain prices are rising at the moment, due to excessive heat in Europe and a drought in Australia and so it is anyone’s guess as to what the prices will do. The big question is when do we sell our wheat? Sometimes we get the time right and sometimes, after we have sold it, the price goes up.
The grain merchants know more about what the prices are going to do long before we do, as they are dealing and talking about it all day long. They have what is called a ‘pool’, where we can say to them, ‘we have 1,000 tons of wheat to sell, which we would like to move off the farm in January or February - can you sell it for us?’

They are selling wheat every day when they believe the price is right, so we will get the average price of the wheat that they have sold for the January/February period. We seem to consistently get a good average and that is why we now sell over half of our wheat in this way.

Stone Curlew

Our crops did not enjoy that spell of warm weather; it was at a time when they were trying to fill pods and ears. You may have noticed green and yellow colours in the same fields - the yellows are where the crop has died, it couldn’t find enough moisture, but thankfully that didn’t happen on our good Fen soils.

We had one of the first combines in the country out in mid-June, harvesting a very unusual crop – organic stubble turnip seed. The crop looks very similar to oil seed rape. We are one of only two growers of organic turnip seed in the country, and whilst we are often one of the first to start our harvesting with a total of 13 different crops to get through, we are often the last to finish as we harvest our sunflowers in mid-October.

Potatoes were a good price through the winter, but over the last two months they have fallen by £200/ton and are now well below the cost of production. The high prices last autumn will have encouraged growers to plant a few more this spring. This isn’t good news as it looks as if we are heading for a low price year. There is just no way of controlling how many we produce each year and so we have to grin and bear the high and low prices. We did anticipate that this year would be a low price year, so we took more contracts out on a fixed price than usual.

World grain prices are rising at the moment, due to excessive heat in Europe and a drought in Australia and so it is anyone’s guess as to what the prices will do. The big question is when do we sell our wheat? Sometimes we get the time right and sometimes, after we have sold it, the price goes up.
The grain merchants know more about what the prices are going to do long before we do, as they are dealing and talking about it all day long. They have what is called a ‘pool’, where we can say to them, ‘we have 1,000 tons of wheat to sell, which we would like to move off the farm in January or February - can you sell it for us?’

They are selling wheat every day when they believe the price is right, so we will get the average price of the wheat that they have sold for the January/February period. We seem to consistently get a good average and that is why we now sell over half of our wheat in this way.

 

Talks, Walks and Events

Saturday 5th August  Sunflower Farm Walk

Saturday 12th August  Sunflower Farm Walk

Sunday 13th August  Sunflower Farm Walk

All walks listed take place at Vine House Farm

Don’t forget to put the Birdfair in your diary:

18th to 20th August at Rutland Water

  Loading...