You asked for evaporation figures. Without the discipline of a weekly blog I had stopped doing it, but here they are:11th to 17th October, 10,10,8,7,9,7,10 and I hope to keep both the blog an the evaporation figures more regular, now that I have a reliable Internet connection.
I have analyzed the monthly rain effect of El Nino. El Nino does not affect the average January rainfall by much; October and November still get about 90% of normal but it is in February, March and April where El Nino years can reduce the average rainfall (on my farm) to 50%,70% and 50% of the non El Nino years. Doing this analysis one is reminded of just how fickle the weather can be, because some of those records go way out of the “”””normal”””” range.
We had a close call while combining the barley. The cable taking power to the pivot is above ground and I HAD considered switching it off, but didn’t. Either the combine cutter bar nicked the cable or just the weight of the machine driving over caused a short, which started a fire. FORTUNATELY we had been combining upwind, so we only lost about 4ha of stubble – AND I got a free cardiac test! We did not plan to combine against the wind, but it is now obvious that that should ALWAYS be the strategy. I think most of you will have heard the story of the person in Chisamba whose insurance ran out on the 30th September. I was aware of this problem and had bought an extension, but I had only checked the fine print (to see that I HAD actually been given the extension in my policy) on the morning of the fire. I believe the ZNFU should lobby the Insurance companies to make it imperative that the winter cereal insurance is automatically to the end of October and automatically includes frost damage.