The first report that I saw of harvest starting this year was on the last day of June – somewhat early for us. Experience tells me once one goes the rest seem to quickly follow on. It will be interesting to see how the harvest unfolds.
Looking back at the few days of rain in early May and again in early June, it has been very fortunate as the rest of the time has been very dry, not especially hot apart from one weekend, the four day heat wave initially forecast by the weather men did not really come to pass where we were but for us at least there has not been much rain around.

Despite this, the grass yields seem to have been very good, certainly in our situation at home we have now enough grass to see us comfortably through to next year, we have in fact increased the level of grass in the diets this summer partly to ensure the maize lasts but also to use up the numbers we have. It’s a fortunate position to be in without a doubt and you can never have too much forage. Good quality forage seems to be in demand at the moment as other counties don’t seem to have faired as well as we have in the South East.

So now, with just the third cuts to do, attention will move toward the harvest, it will be interesting to see how it develops. The grain trade appears to be firmly of the belief that we are in for a big harvest. Although the crops looked well at the end of June, they changed massively in the first few days of July, not a good sign in my book, but what do I know? Grumpy has a tongue-in-cheek bet on with a local grain trader based on his theories of the cosmos that were touched on last month. He hopes to win but expects to lose – only time will tell. A bumper harvest will lower the price of straw in this country and abroad. I don’t believe that straw will reach the dizzy heights of last year but should remain around the £50t mark for HD bales.

Whatever happens, we never seem quite ready. There are always jobs to be done ahead of the rush but we never seem to get in to a position of being absolutely on top of everything and prepared for the start. I am sure it’s the same for everyone in farming but there always seems to be one more job that it would be nice to get done beforehand.

Having just returned from the most amazing week away we are refreshed and ready for the forthcoming harvest season. Packed lunch season has begun and the children have all finished school, Zara was presented with the school cup for effort and achievement. An amazing all round pupil – such a proud mummy! Pony club camps are beginning in earnest and Zara has managed the incredible achievement of qualifying for the pony club eventing championships at the end of August. Another road trip is looming!

Whether you are a fan of social media or a detester I feel that it has a place in society today. I am a member of a group called “The crazy life of a farmer’s wife,” it has over 6,000 members, and its sole purpose is for farmers wives/partners to offer support and advice to other farmers wives. I have just read a very heartfelt tribute to an 18-month girl who died of Strepococcus and Sepsis. It is a tragic story which seems to have touched everybody’s hearts. The offers of help and support were overwhelming but the resounding message that came across was to hold and cherish your loved ones.

We all live incredibly busy lives, but we also need to stop for a moment and appreciate our family and our surroundings. Health and safety plays a huge part on the farm, but you can’t beat a bit of bale jumping!