It’s mid September, so it’s roughly a month away from when we can expect the first of the payments under the new CAP regime.

While there is a delay of a week in when the main BISS payments are due to begin, the Department’s record in getting payments out in reasonable time has been good over the years.

As we are not eligible or haven’t applied for many of the subsidiary schemes, if the payments come in line with the timetable outlined in last week’s analysis by Darren Carty, I won’t complain too much.

I am more concerned at the reduction in the amount payable than a week’s delay.

Meanwhile my main grain customer has lodged a significant part of the harvest money due into my bank account. I am not sure what on-account price has been paid, as there are no details accompanying the payment, but presumably they will become clear over the next few days.

At ground level, we are making sure that we meet the regulatory deadlines in having all the slurry out by 30 September and any fertiliser used by 15 September.

The slurry is going back on to the tillage ground but I am becoming increasingly conscious that we are not getting the maximum nitrogen value out of slurry applied at this time of the year. We have been looking into the possibility of tooling-up to apply slurry to the growing crops in the spring.

However, for this year we are organising the various varieties and where we put what crop. I was tempted to put in an extra field of gluten free oats after a crop of beans, but that would have given us two crops of oats in four years.

I was strongly advised not to go down that route to avoid possible virus mosaic problems and long-term disease problems, so I have had to reassess.

On the cattle side, we are grazing out the grass by moving the fence every day. There is a build-up of material in front of them, but we are now into the autumn and taking the final grazing of 2023 as we go through the paddocks.