It's long, long working days at harvestThe yaer round:

I've just been having a cup of tea at Low Fields Farm in hopeful anticipation of harvesting later.

We have been drilling oilseed rape, but must wait until the contractor finishes baling and leading of the wheat straw to give us a clean stubble in which to work.

Two thirds or two large fields have already been drilled with oilseed rape. We have three full days combining still to do on this level warpland farm near the banks of the Ouse.

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Neither winter wheat nor oilseed rape yields suffered from the long spell of dry weather a few weeks ago. Crops now being gathered may show lower quality.

A 7.30am start and a 10pm finish gives us plenty of hours in which to get tired.

The sugar beet has benefited from recent rains, with over an inch falling during two nights recently.

We were debating as to whether to continue growing sugar beet.

A number of local farmers have given it up, but we are persevering.

The crop gives a break in the cereal rotation and its deep roots break the soil for subsequent crops. Sugar beet tops form a useful green manure and experiments have proved that its results are as good as if the tops are eaten off by livestock folded over them.

Potato variety Melody fits in here well.

Its whiteness makes it very suitable for supermarkets, who seek things with a long shelf life. Melody combines several desirable characteristics.

A contractor has been cleaning out the deep dykes which split our fields.

We are mowing the grasses between them, which harbour a surprising number of wild birds and animals.

They seem to appreciate the shelter and a nearness to water.