After a late start, the combine wheels are now turning and life has gone from its normal chaotic self to a faster chaotic pace than I ever thought possible. 

I think in my next life I shall run a logistical freight company. I seem to be gaining quite a lot of experience and feel I could be the best candidate for the job. The days/weeks are jam packed with military precision. Packed lunches are made in a frenzy and the ice creams runs are back on in between Zara competing. 

School’s out for summer and Ted is in his element. Leaving the farm is certainly not on his agenda and the only writing he intends to do is writing down the weights of the grain trailers! We haven’t seen Fergus for days unless it’s on a tractor carting bales, although we occasionally get a glimpse of Monty cultivating or on the grain cart. A phone call asking for food or a “just job” is a regular interruption. Could you go and fetch or could you just drop off these parts seems to be a never-ending task. 

Thankfully we now have all our telehandlers back in service. A 2019 model decided that it didn’t wish to move anymore when the drive plate snapped. We then had to wait eight weeks for parts to arrive so that the boys could repair it. The machine was back on the road for 12 hours before our other (2020) machine at the youngstock unit decided to do exactly the same thing. Is this a coincidence or do the telehandler manufacturers have an issue with drive plates? 

As I write this we are currently awaiting parts for the other machine. A completely unacceptable wait again. Brexit is not my friend…

The weather would appear to be a law unto itself, and I’ve now decided that when we wake up and look at a beautiful sunny sky in the morning it could be an illusion, as 30 minutes later it may be pouring with rain. Who knows what the next hour will bring, let alone tomorrow?

The lambs are gaining weight nicely and have been selected for the Edenbridge & Oxted Show, a really enjoyable farming show that will see us camping for two days (Mr Grumpy and Fergus will remain at home). Let us hope the weather is kind to us.

Zara and I are getting used to this camping malarky after spending more nights in the lorry than in my own bed this summer. After she was selected for the U18s team in eventing we spent a fantastic week at Bishop Burton International at the end of July. What an amazing experience, and hopefully the start of many, although the washing took me a fair time to sort afterwards. Fortunately, we have the most amazing friend who moves in and takes over all my jobs for me while I am away. Everyone needs a Sadie in their lives and Ted adores her.

While chatting to a local farmer in Yorkshire while we were away, he asked about the Colorado potato beetle that had been discovered in Kent. I had to confess to not knowing much about this, but on doing my research discovered that farmers have been asked to remain vigilant after a pest that poses a significant threat to potato crops was identified.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is working with the affected farmer to eradicate the pest and will conduct a survey to find how far it has spread beyond the initial site. 

This is the first UK outbreak of the disease since 1977. The Colorado beetle will strip the leaves completely from the plant and eventually the plant will die. It will not affect humans or animals but will affect plant health. As I write, I believe that another outbreak has been identified in Hampshire. Fingers crossed they eradicate it ASAP or a potential potato shortage may well ensue. 

Fingers crossed life will return to its normal self by the next time I write. Stay safe and happy harvesting.

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