Breakdowns, drought, slow transport, sourcing parts, sourcing workers, there's a lot of problems you can encounter during harvest. This year? It's raining.
I know, I know, rain is normally something farmers are begging to fall from the skies so the moisture profile in the ground can build up.
But there are six to eight weeks of the year where we need everything to stay dry so we can get the winter crops off, this includes wheat, barley and canola. That time is now.
And since harvest started in October* there have been bucket loads of rain, due to a La Nina event and a lot of pulled up machinery.
Of course, after months and months of watching potentially your largest annual income grow in the paddocks, every farmer wants harvest time to go off mostly problem-free.
Understandably, they sowed these little babies in April and have spent six months tending to these crops praying for the right amount of moisture and sunlight.
You might ask, what's the big deal? So harvest is pushed back a couple of weeks?
It's not that simple (nothing in farming ever is.)
You could have the best-graded wheat in the business, pulling the highest yield. But if it has to stay in the paddock and it gets repeatedly rained on, the wheat quality deteriorates and affects the price you get at the silo.
So even though last week things were a little moist at our farm we were still harvesting some good quality wheat. But until we get back in that paddock (and THAT depends on how much rain we get and when we can start up again), we won't know the effect Mother Nature's November cleanse has had on our crop.
At the moment, we're just hoping we're not spending Christmas on the tractor.
*It's October for us, but I should note harvest times are different all around Australia.
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