Monday, 2 September 2013
Harvest time has arrived in the Aberdeenshire countryside. The view from our back garden shows fields of gold, and one already cut.
The barley is ripe and ready; a forecast of several days of dry weather to come for north east Scotland has set the scene.....
...and the farmers, including our neighbour, have started the harvest. The Combining machines can be seen everywhere as farmers try to get their "corn" in while it's dry and settled.
Several strips of a large field cut and the Combine is emptied into the waiting trailer, chaffs blowing in the wind. Each trailer load represents a hard-won success from a late, cold and wet Spring followed by a much drier Summer than those of the last few years. At this point last year much of the barley was yet to ripen in a cold Summer.
It's an anxious time; the success of the harvest is critical to farm viability and the plans for the following year.
Grain tank emptied, the Combine heads off on another run up the field. There will be long days (and nights) to come while the bonus of the good weather lasts.
This is what it's all about. This barley will actually be largely converted into beef - winter feed for the beef beasts for which the north east of Scotland is noted, including the famous Aberdeen Angus animals, long associated with our local area.
Some of the better barley will be bought by maltsters to be converted into another great Scottish gift to the world....
As the last trailer loads of barley leave the fields, the baler is straight in to start baling the "ends" to make "Tractor Egg" bales of additional fodder and bedding for the cattle. The evening will be long turned dark before just this field is done - it's a busy time.