John Walton: Frustrating summer has stopped the combines in their tracks

The combine has been rolling but alas has stopped again and, as I write this, we are just over half way through, oats done and feed triticale done, with just the seed triticale to do – 9ha (22 acres) of winter and 33ha (81 acres) of spring.

Hopefully by the time you read this we will have had a return to good weather and the wheels will be rolling again. It is again frustrating the summer has been a bit of a let down, so another year without me being able to show the world my barbeque skills.

I have just made my annual pilgrimage to Devon on holiday. The idea was we would go later this year, so all the combining and reseeds would be finished – but corn still stands where the grass should be and the grass seed remains firmly in the bag.

It was interesting to see they are having the same problems down there. We went with a contractor friend’s family, whose main enterprise is baling, and sadly we discussed fields of corn and straw and consoled ourselves with regular trips to the local hostelry where they serve beer.

It was interesting to see they are having the same problems down there

The silly season with the open farm has drawn to a close with the end of the school holidays upon us. Now a quieter time beckons until teachers get fed up and start looking for somewhere to take their new charges.

William, my son, starts his secondary education this time and, believe it or not, is looking forward to it. I break out in a cold sweat when recall my first days at secondary school, apparently the best days of my life, little did they know I am a Man City fan and they are yet to come.

I missed the new look Dairy Event last year at the NEC but, as I write, I am hoping to get there this year. It is good because all the industry’s doom and gloom is forgotten for a couple of days and an element of confidence comes over you. Feedback from people who went last year says this is more apparent at its new home.

It must be a sign of the times but we have just installed CCTV cameras at the farm after a few night-time incidents and things going missing. It gives peace of mind and the public appreciate the fact we have it. It was reasonably priced as it was an agricultural company that installed it.

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