In the farming game, the snakes are more numerous and the ladders are getting shorter. Government policies are changing fast and are less predictable.
Summer has slipped into autumn. This has been an easy summer for harvesting because of the dry weather but yields of grass and spring barley have been poor. The current high fertiliser prices and machinery costs are not reflected at the farm gate. My only working tractor needs repairs to the gearbox which I expect will account for most of next year’s profits.
By the end of October I hope that my potatoes will be ready to store. I have let most varieties grow for as long as possible this season in the hope of maximising yield. Eurostar, the one variety which died back early in the drought, is yielding one sack of potatoes every 20 metres of potato row compared with one sack every 7 metres in an average year. It is by digging along the potato rows with a fork and picking and measuring each variety that I can estimate the potential eventual yield of potatoes on this farm.