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Notes from Hungary July 09

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Arable Update 17-7-2009


All the spring drilling/planting was completed in good time.  A total of 110 hectares of potatoes have been planted with the last field being planted by the end of April. Varieties cropped this year include Red Scarlett, Motzart and Desiree.  Maize and sunflower drilling was completed by the beginning of May, a total of 1350 hectares of maize and 400 hectares of sunflowers.


We have experienced a very dry spring, with only 40 mm of rain falling in the months of April and May.  This year irrigation on the potatoes has been very important especially with the high temperatures, all our machines have been working at full capacity.  The rain finally came in June with 110mm falling in the second half of the month.  Up until then the maize and sunflower crops were struggling in the dry conditions. They are now looking good with all but a few fields coming into flower.


Potato packing was completed by the end of May.  The line has now been serviced and stores cleaned ready fo this years crop.


In between the wet weather, 90 hectares of triticale and 40 hectares of winter wheat were whole cropped for the dairy unit.  The fields have now been drilled with mustard. 


Cereal harvest is now underway, harvesting started in the begining of July but we are now being held up by the wet weather, we have already had over 50mm of rain this month.  To date we have harvested 30 hectares of winter barley and 130 hectares of winter wheat, leaving 300 hectares of winter wheat and 20 hectares of spring barley to combine.  Harvesting should be completed by the end of the month as long as the weather holds out.  As expected the yields are not looking good due to the dry spring, both the barley and wheat yields are between 3.5 and 4 tonnes a hectare, we can only hope that prices increase .

Looking ahead the Red Scarlett will soon be ready for burning off, we plan to start harvest at the beginning of August. 

Notes from Serbia

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

  Harvest is complete, we finished harvesting our 470ha of winter wheat on the 17th of July.  We were slightly behind schedule due to machinery breakages; trough auger shearing, belt and bearing breaking on the straw chopper cost us about 3 days in total.  Yields were below average due to the hot spring with hardly any rain in April and May, however the end of June seen more than 100mm of rain.  Weather condition during harvest we very good being above 30 degrees throughout with the odd thunderstorm sweeping through, nothing like England at the moment though.  We are now cultivating all the stubble land using a Carrier and sub soiling it after that.  At the moment one of our cultivation tractors (Valtra) has a clutch problem, however Valtra service in Serbia are telling me they are too busy to fix the machine.  An email and phone calls to finland seemed to speed things up a bit though.  The next few months, until the sun flower harvest begins, will see some machinery repairs, the usual story, and some grain storage site apperance improvements such as sowing some grass and planting some conifers along the outside fence.  I will now be off to the Ukraine to help out Mark, hopefully my instructions left here to complete the cultivations and grass sowing will be followed up as this is always seems very difficult for the staff especially when no one is here to “watch” them.