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Consider the farmers

Posted by Tania Kindersley
Tania Kindersley
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on Tuesday, 10 July 2012

As the weather continues dire, my heart is wrung by the plight of the farmer. He was out with his one permanent worker and half his family last night, desperately trying to get in the hay for silage, before the rains came again. The mare and I stood and watched as four huge machines zoomed up and down the fields, cutters clanking, lights flashing, engines revving, like some great monstrous creatures bent on eating the fields.

They work incredibly fast and with pinpoint accuracy. The lines of cut hay lie on the ground with the precision of cricket pitch stripes. I had wondered if the mare might wig out. She has seen farm machinery before, but four huge tractors running at full speed in her home fields might be enough to put the wind up her. If I were a horse, I would not fancy it much. But after an initial snort of alarm, and the high head predator alert pose, she seemed to see that they were not coming for her, and decided the whole thing was rather fascinating.

We observed for many minutes. It was absolutely riveting. I love watching someone do a job they know really well, especially when it is something to do with the land. When I left, at eight o’clock, they were still at it. I heard this morning that they did not finish until eleven.

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