John Davies: A rush to get the grain cut so grassland leys can be planted

WHERE have our summers in Wales gone? Unlike some parts of the country, there’s been no shortage of rain in August.

We have been able to grow good crops of grain and plenty of straw, but harvesting them has been quite a challenge. Crimping at high 30s moisture content and treating with propcorn for some of the drier fields has been the order of the day. Perhaps I need more patience.

I’m quite happy with the crimped corn but the combine, and Alun the driver, aren’t quite as happy. Our combine has seen better days and is no glamour model.

It was vital to get the corn harvested as soon as possible so we can sow the fields with a wide variety of the latest grassland leys ready for next year’s Grassland day, for which we’re having an excellent response from the trade, all of whom need good crops of grass to demonstrate their equipment to its potential.

We’ve gathered the range and mouthed and drenched the ewes, parted the lambs and shorn the ewe lambs, followed by dipping everything – a hectic few days.

We’re having an excellent response from the trade, all of whom need good crops of grass to demonstrate their equipment to its potential

Afterwards, we managed to visit West Wales for a couple of days with the family and also managed to find some sheep tack by the coast – an added bonus.

We’ve been topping up a few of the silage pits and making some round bales. Everywhere is now full with the straw bales being stacked on top.

The economy is having an impact on the holiday units in Pentwyn. We’re not as busy as last year and customers are more price conscious. Many want to haggle. When the boot is on the other foot, it’s a practice I enjoy.

The cattle trade, both live and dead, has firmed once again with less supply than demand creating welcome competition.

The brother-in-law and some friends recently walked across Wales from Hay-on-Wye to Aberaeron (65 miles) in just over 24 hours. I walked with them for around 15 miles, which was more than planned due to their good company and the fact former Wales rugby international Dafydd Jones was one of the walkers.

With the rugby season about to start, perhaps he’ll come and help us with a training session. They went under the banner of ‘Iomp Cymru’ and raised about £3,000 for some worthy causes.

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