Stuart Pow: Nature has paid its bills with a bountiful autumn harvest
I HAVEN'T written since June and a lot has happened in that time. We've had the best summer since 1995 and it has shown in the state of the crops.
There is an old saying "nature pays her bills" meaning things often improve after a bad start. This has been the case this year.
With all our crops getting off to a appalling start the previous autumn, some not making it through the winter, forcing us to plant a large acreage of spring crops which struggled in the very cold spring.
Thankfully come harvest time all had improved beyond expectation. It was by no means a bumper year, however, but with yields at or around our five-year average it is much better than we could have hoped for three months earlier.
The good news has followed on into the autumn with all our planting complete into good seedbeds, the maize silage harvested, a lot of autumn spraying done, and most crops germinated and emerged. I can't remember when we were last in this position only mid way through October.
Our livestock have enjoyed the summer too. There was always enough moisture to keep the grass growing and surprisingly, despite the heat, fly numbers were down.
Consequently we had very few eye or foot infections to deal with. Yet insect numbers were up overall particularly ladybirds which seem to be everywhere.
The swallows have had a good time if the ones at the farm are any indication, many pairs raising three broods this season.
Our local Harvest Thanksgiving service was held on Sunday and was well attended with members from the village and surrounding area. The few farming families in the parish were well represented and the singing was enthusiastic and joyful. A good time to reflect on how lucky we are, living in peace with full larders.