Richard Byass, Field Operations Manager
The 2020 harvest is now complete with the final load processed at Eyemouth Freezers earlier this morning. We have ended up achieving 95% of our budget with a satisfactory spread across the grade profile enabling us to fulfil our annual contractual obligations.
Once again this has been a challenging season mainly due to the weather which has worked both for us and against us at times. The exceptionally dry spring allowed us to get on well with the drilling but this did take its toll on some crops with delayed emergence and drought stress leading to some low yielding crops with mixed maturity.
The by-passed area this season amounted to just 2.78% which is mainly due to the very wet weather on the 25th August which caused impossible travelling conditions. We had to stop harvesting for 36 hours until the land dried enough which lead to a few fields being missed.
The harvesting team have worked exceptionally hard to get through this harvest which has taken 91 days from start to finish. There have been a few breaks along the way which allowed the team to catch up with maintenance and ‘take a breather’. The harvesters have also been reliable and performed well this season which is a reflection of the high standard of ‘out of season’ overhaul carried out by our engineers.
Eyemouth Freezers have also performed very well this season with a processing output to match the supply from our four harvesters which have each clocked-up about 1250 hours this season.
With regard to H&S, there have been a handful of occasions this season when we have had to use some ‘less than ideal’ gateways and also very steep parts of fields. As always, please inform me of any issues like this for next season so we can conduct the appropriate H&S assessments to ensure operators and machinery are not put at risk.
Plans are already well on the way for the 2021 season and there have already been several requests from potential new growers to join SBP so please send in your area indication for 2021 soon if you have not already done so.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and cooperation this season and we look forward to 2021 with whatever challenges come our way.