This week blog is all about the harvest and why we need a good harvest under our belt. Go back to last summer when we had the never-ending dry spell of weather and blistering heat, a lot of farmers struggled with the harvest and crop yield was at an all time low. Fast forward to this summer and the conditions couldn’t be better! 2019 had a mixture of heat, rain and sunshine, all perfect for my barley!
This weekend we are combining the last of the barley ready to be used for fodder over the coming months. It’s always nice to get the fields cleared and get grain in the sheds, almost like a breath of fresh air around Ballakelly. As I said earlier, it’s important we get a good harvest and get our yields as high as we can. More barley – happy cattle – happy Farmer Al. This year most farmers are in the same situation with an overload of straw (a completely different story to last year!).
If you had driven over the mountain road last year you would have seen how burnt the north of the island was. The ground was like rock and with no rainfall, nothing was growing and it was a worry that we wouldn’t get the right amount for the winter to see us through. For ‘’non-farmers’’ it was great having the heat and dry spell, Costa Del Isle of Man! However, the knock on effect for farmers can be detrimental. Farmers all over the world rely on the weather to be able to grow crops and keep the animals fed and nurtured. It’s worrying when we hear of farmers having to sell animals on because they simply don’t have enough fodder for them all. Luckily the Isle of Man doesn’t have that problem.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather this year, the crop we are harvesting is the best I’ve seen it for a long time! The lambs are fattening up nicely and are enjoying the sunshine. The cattle & calves are also enjoying being out in the sun. I’d like to sit here all day but I’ve got baling to do! 😊
Enjoy the bank holiday! I might even ask the boss for a few hours off!