It’s time to crack out the travel blogging again, but at this point I can’t be bothered to write much, so there will only be a few pictures to look at.
This involved getting up at 4.45am, battling with cancelled trains on the way to Gatwick, spending 4 hours in Riga, a night in Moscow – but 24 hours later we arrived:
The first field we stopped in was very black, very dry, and very sparse. Not a good advert for Russian wheat:
It did have one thing going for it however. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had leguminous weeds like these peas, clover and vetch?
The next field was even worse. Heavily over-cultivated, there was terrible soil erosion on what was only a very slight slope. The sunflowers looked very sorry for themselves, although amazingly this isn’t considered a write-off.
This photo was only a kilometre or so away, but the farming is clearly a lot better. This should yield perhaps 3-4t/ha.
Confirmation, as if it were needed, that we don’t work machinery hard enough in the UK. Some of these tractors have done over 20,000 hours, and they work 24 hours a day in 12 hour shifts on a 9,000ha “smallholding”. This is one way fixed costs are kept so much lower than we can manage.
The landscape is really unusual (for me anyway), and beautiful:
And to finish, an arty farty photo of a grainstore roof: