Farming Insights – Behind the scenes at Harvest

At this time of year, the consensus of opinion seems to be that all farmers are either busy with combine harvesters in the fields or avidly watching the weather forecast for signs of a dry spell to allow them to continue.  However it is worth thinking about other activities that are taking place behind the scenes on many farms.

These days, farmers may have secondary jobs to supplement their agricultural income. This can bring other stresses to a demanding schedule. Balancing farm work, their paid employment and home-life can be trying so team work is vital.

Long days and long nights can lead to unnecessary mishaps on farms and historically there can be more insurance claims for accidents, impact incidents and machinery fires. On occasions time pressures and tiredness can get in the way but taking the extra care to make sure that equipment is cleaned down after every use is important.

September is traditionally when many sheep farmers are looking forward to the tupping season with the purchase of new breeding stock. There have recently been some record monies changing hands at the various ram sales throughout the country. The ewes need to be in the best condition ready to receive the tups so this means culling out old stock and providing new pasture for those that are being kept for future breeding.  At the same time, this year’s lambs are now being sold – either for slaughter for the early lambs or as store lambs for over-wintering.

Autumn calving is now well underway. The introduction of calving monitors to alert the farmer when a cow goes into labour helps avoid many sleepless nights allowing other seasonal work to continue around the calving.

Besides the harvesting of the crops, there is the preparation of the fields ready for the next planting. For some businesses this will be a further sowing of spring crops but for others this can be Winter Wheat or Winter Oil Seed Rape.  Both need to be in the ground as soon as the harvest is completed. This means cutting the crop, the baling of straw and clearing off the field then ploughing and levelling the soil before the new seed can be sown. With the introduction of the 3 crop rule many farmers now have to consider crops other than barley in order to comply with the current CAP regulations.

Agriculture has always been a weather dependent industry even more so at this time of year.  It is important to remember all the other activities, aside from the actual harvest, that take place in order to put food on our tables.

Should you wish to discuss any aspect of your insurance cover or book an appointment for a free insurance audit, please email [email protected] or call 0131 553 2293