Go Ape!

That's today's fun-filled activity d'jour, which seems to basically consists of swinging through the trees in nearby Whinlatter Forest for what the kids are telling me is four hours. I hope and assume that they are deliberately winding me up.

Heights aren't my favourite thing, but they assure me that "you'll love it once you're up there".

It's a pity that they don't adopt the same devil-may-care let's give it a go philosophy when MrsN#3 & I try to persuade them to do something exotic like "go for a walk".

"Walking is boring," comes the heathen response. "Can't we just go back to the cottage and watch telly?" I despair of the youth of today. Nothing can seemingly get their arses into gear if it involves walking. Mysterious "sore legs/knees" suddenly develop that weren't there ten minutes ago.

Talking of which the IGC finally seem to have dragged their sorry arse into gear with a 6 MMT downgrade to Russia's wheat crop to 44 MMT, only to be immediately usurped by the USDA attaché (himself normally a useless laggard) with an estimate of only 41 MMT.

Winter plantings aren't going too well as yet either, with less than half a million hectares in the ground compared with almost a million this time last year.

The BBC are giving heavy rain for Saturday and Sunday in Moscow, although again these rains are forecast to be confined to northern areas of the wheat belt.

You probably don't need me to explain the potential implications of a late planted crop, or indeed one that doesn't get sown until the spring. Spring wheat normally yields 20% less than winter wheat in this part of the world.

At home the HGCA say that the domestic wheat harvest has advanced to 45% complete with yields averaging 7.6-7.8 MT/ha. That's somewhat better than the 10% fall from last season's 7.9 MT/ha average that many had been forecasting.

The wet August hasn't yet done too much damage as far as hagbergs or specific weights are concerned, they say.

The winter barley harvest is wrapped up with an average yield of 6.2-6.4 MT/ha and the spring barley harvest 35% done with yields below average. The OSR harvest is almost complete with yields averaging 3.7 MT/ha, a 12% increase on the five year average of 3.3 Mt/ha, they add.

Yes, kids I'm coming...oh no, I seem to have developed a sudden and unexplainable limp...can't we just watch telly instead...