Again, this year, a cold dry spring has become a hot dry summer. The record temperatures have forced the cattle and sheep to remain indoors for shade during the afternoons and they graze the fields during the night. I have been buffer feeding the cows with hay in the hope of saving some grass in the distant fields for the autumn.
Last week, on the radio, I heard that potatoes die once the temperature exceeds 30ºC and I have been nervously watching my crop. Last year they died very early in the season when the heat came, so once again this seemed possible. Well, so far they have retained their leaves and are still flowering, although some leaves have scorched. If they can keep their foliage for two more months then the leaves will be able to collect the sunlight and convert it into a yield of tubers.
During the hottest day of summer I started harvesting the winter barley. It would be wonderful to have air conditioning on my combine instead of sitting in a glass cab in the sunshine!