The lunchtime position of the sun at East Croydon station can be a major issue for the photographer. In this shot I’ve used a long telephoto to exclude the sun and subsequently converted to b&w to take advantage of the strong contrasts…

455807 b&w

Photo taken in March 2022 – Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF 55-200mm lens at 180mm (270mm equiv). ISO800, f8 at 1/850th. Post processing carried out in Serif Affinity Photo v1.

Posted for Leanne’s Monochrome Madness.

Last post I told of the issue I experienced with sell-points. The good news is – I’ve discovered the cause and it’s partly my bad and partly down to the map. There are 2 of them at the mill – one labelled Grain Mill and the other Mill Trans sp, You have to read the job instructions carefully so you know which you are delivering to because, in both cases the delivery icon appears over the Mill Trans point or very close to it – very mis-leading๐Ÿ™„ However, now I’ve cracked it, I’ll be able to do harvest jobs for other farmers. I decided to stick with my new set-up of farm and 3 fields though. I’ve done enough rebuilding and testing – it’s time to play๐Ÿ˜‚

Lets start with a map so you can see what we own…

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…You can see the Farmhouse icon just above the centre of the map. Moving down from there we have fields I own – 1, 2 and 3 – all have a crop. Field 1 has Oats and field 3 has Wheat – both ready to harvest. Field 2 has Sorghum which is in the late stages of growth. That means I’ll be very busy through the last week of August (when the game starts) harvesting two fields and clearing up the straw left by the combine.

I tackled field 3 first as it was largest…

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…Collecting the Wheat grain with the BM and trailer…

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…and taking it to my silo for storage. You can see a lot of straw on the ground behind. Then it was the turn of field 1 and the Oats – again destined to be stored in the silo. These crops will be held until the price is better around December / January. Then it was time to deploy the baler and collect all the straw. Being an old-school baler, it creates rectangular bales. I could load them into the trailer by hand – a somewhat tedious process but it avoids having to use a front-loader equipped tractor with bale forks (equally tedious). I got field 1’s straw baled and off to the biomass plant as the last task of that week…

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The first week of September and I still have the straw in field 3 to bale. So, with one eye on the Sorghum which was now ready to harvest, I quickly baled the straw and sold it. Between the 2 fields of straw, I made โ‚ฌ3000. Then I was able to harvest the Sorghum in field 2 – once more sent to the silo. Unlike Wheat and Oats, Sorghum doesn’t produce straw, it just leaves a load of stalks to plough in or, in the case where ploughing is not required, be turned in by the cultivator. Here’s a shot of the Massey-Ferguson 178 performing the same task for a neighbour…

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I was concentrating on field 2 because I wanted to get a crop in the ground and I only needed to spread some lime on the soil before I could sow. I did need to buy a seeder and found an Isaria 6000/S. Here it is sowing Barley in field 2…

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Both my other fields needed ploughing, so that was a job for the Massey-Ferguson. I hooked up the plough and tried to make a start on field 1 but the tractor couldn’t pull it! That left me scratching my head as the plough required 75HP and the tractor is rated at 73HP – it really shouldn’t have been a problem. Anyway, a trip to the dealer was in order – we were going to need a more compliant plough. Ultimately, we added wheel weights to the tractor and bought a 3-bladed IMT plough. That was ideal although it does mean more trips up and down the field…

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…The original plough was traded in.

I had to make another purchase too – I needed to move our seed pallet from the dealer to the farm. That meant either fitting a front-loader to the Massey or getting a third tractor with the front-loader fitted. I went for the latter option as the Massey has a very high workload (and will eventually need to be replaced by a higher powered 4-wheel drive machine). The dealer was able to supply a Zetor 6245…

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…which can fulfil the role of yard dog and also help out with sowing tasks. That wiped out my bank balance, so I need to work for the other farmers to earn some more. I’ve been fitting in jobs throughout September – Some harvesting…

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…but mainly ploughing…

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…that shot gives some idea of the beauty of the map๐Ÿ˜Ž There are also some ‘pitfalls’, or in this case drainage ditches that would make excellent tank-traps…

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…When you get dragged down into one of these, the best option is to drive along it and climb out at the end…

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…That’s another ‘farming skill’ learnt๐Ÿ˜‚

My bank balance doesn’t look very good at the end of September, but don’t forget I have that nest-egg of stored grains in the silo! Next post I’ll be walking us through October though I expect it to be more of the same but perhaps a bit quieter ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘

Well – I think Cee will have guessed in advance what my Midweek Madness Challenge entry would contain๐Ÿ˜‚ However, I did make a point of going out this lunchtime to get the shots for this post, so none of them is more than a few hours old! All were taken on the A406 North Circular Road, a major north London artery. As I’m posting this, I just saw a tweet from the local radio station showing that there’s a serious traffic jam in the eastbound direction – just a short distance from where these shots were taken earlier. Such is the A406 in the evening rush ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Back to lunchtime and here’s a nicely turned-out Scania in a special paint job…

LU 226FR, A406, Finchley

…A visitor from Poland. Other European countries are commonly represented by trucks on the A406. There was an Integre Trans truck from Lithuania and this BKM Lojistik Volvo from Turkey…

BKM Lojistik 34 BRP 116, A406, Finchley

…BKM do have bases in the UK, so not too surprising a visitor.

Not all the trucks are large or far from home. This Lawson’s Scania is one of their fleet, delivering timber products from depots around London and the surrounding counties…

Lawsons EX71 FRL, A406, Finchley

…Including one just north of here in Whetstone. Then, here’s a competitor – a Country Supplies Scania from Buckinghamshire joining the A406 from the A1000…

Country Supplies EY68 VPD, A406, Finchley

…Where the Lawson’s truck has a crane, this one has its own forklift hooked on the back!

Regular A406 users, these DAF trucks with pale blue cabs and white roofs travel east in the morning with scrap metal and return unladen in the afternoon…

DA19 YDH, A406, Finchley

…I have not worked out who actually operates them๐Ÿ˜…

Finally, an attempt at something slightly artistic – a contre-jour M.J.D. Iveco…

MJD Group WV21 CDF, A406, Finchley