After such a long run of lovely weather the wind and rain of the last three weeks have come as a bit of a shock. Perfectly normal weather for this time of year and even a bit warmer during the day than normal. Soil conditions are still good and really not particularly wet. Sugar Beet are lifting well and some farms are still drilling wheat into reasonable seed beds. Our first lift of Beet went well and the wheat we put in after it has emerged strongly. The forecast for the next three weeks is not brilliant but if the winds persist and dry the land we may be lucky enough to avoid the usual Sugar Beet mud bath. Famous last words!!
Autumn sown Wheat, Barley and Rape are growing well and looking good. This year we have taken the decision to go round all the Rape crops first thing in the morning moving the pigeons on. To assist with this task we have bought a hand held laser which is shone on the pigeons and which they really do not like. This enables us to chase them off the crop and also follow them into the trees they then sit in. It will disturb them up to about 600 metres away and although it takes time, it does remove the necessity of using bangers. One does need to be careful not to shine it on people or to wave it around in the sky. Apache helicopter pilots do not like hand held lasers being fired at them and they have a very big gun attached! So far the procedure is working very well. Whether it will continue to do so when there is less food around for the grey plague remains to be seen.
Having dropped to around £100 a tonne, wheat is now worth about £120. Well down on the £200 we got last year but better than the sub £100 which were being predicted a couple of months ago. Most grain traders I have spoken to recently cannot say why they have risen as there is a big crop out there to sell and still a lot to move before next harvest. Most of ours in committed or already gone and trading next year’s crop has already begun. The job is getting more of a lottery each year and can make the difference between profit and loss on a year’s work. Knowing what the crop costs to grow and selling a little regularly when the price leaves us with a surplus is the only way I know of remaining sane!
It will soon be time to listen out for the patter of reindeer hooves on the roof and the sound of merry carollers in the street. This year we have the Christmas Cabaret on Saturday 13th December to kick off the festive season followed by carol singing down the street on Tuesday 16th December. Christmas services are all in the magazine and the flyer which you should all get. The Village Hall will be open on Christmas Eve for a chance to socialise and sing a few more carols. Please come and join any of these events to keep our village social life vibrant.
A very merry Christmas to you all