Harvest time is now with us.

Heavy vehicles on the road may annoy some drivers but now much of our farming is done by contractors the mighty combine harvesters have to travel from field to field.

The drone of the machine or the dust like debris that the huge reaper blades throw up are tell-tale signs.

Then there are the tractors pulling large trailers filled with grain as they bring the corn from field to farm.

Despite all these signs some of you will miss the harvest as it is over so quickly.

Since the Second World War developments in farming methods have been huge.

Some will remember the McCormick reaper binder, producing sheaves that were made into stooks.

The initial combines were slow and sluggish and a large labour force was still needed.

Not now.

Agricultural workers are not numerous, with many farmworkers cottages becoming second homes.

The longer, later harvests brought its advantages at home.

My father would leave his beloved woods and gardens and help with bailing the straw and collecting it from the fields.

I do not think he was ever trusted with driving a combine.

This meant overtime and a fatter pay packet.

Three of us were at grammar school and this meant school uniform.

Extra cash was needed at the start of September.

In my middle to late teens there was always work on the farm for me and I could contribute to the clothing fund.

Personal reminiscence must not be allowed to cloud the issues of harvest.

This is an agricultural area and a good harvest is important.

Prosperity in farming is a tenuous thing and now we have the uncertainty of the ‘B’ word.

Country matters now face more uncertainty than just the fickle weather.