Presented by Andy Fussell.
Andy, a local farmer, hosts this show dedicated to the farming life.
August – This month, Andy is busy with the harvest. Once you start, you can’t stop! So Andy presents the entire show from the cab of his £350,000 combine harvester, a state of the art, laser-guided tracked vehicle with on-board computers, air conditioning and the capability to harvest 60 acres a day. Occasionally, it catches fire, which tends to slow things down a bit….
Andy talks about harvesting oilseed rape, the basis for his Fussell Fine Foods products, and wheat, which you can hear him combining throughout the show. With a combine harvester that cost the price of a four-bedroomed house Andy has major bills to pay, so he also looks at the business of contracting out his services to claw back his investment in this world-class machinery. But it’s only after he has contract-cut and baled the straw for his clients does he harvest his own crops.
As the machine is almost self-operating, the air-conditioned cab becomes his office and Andy has time to continue to conduct his farm business during the day – he has full internet and 3G facilities onboard and spends much of his time talking to his employees taking in the loads as they are delivered back to the farm at Rode - giving him instant reports about the quality and yield of what he is cutting. He is also setting up the farm and contracting businesses for the rest of the year.
When the phone’s not ringing, Andy gets the chance to see the countryside around him in all its glory. He talks about the wildlife in the fields – a deer leaps over the straw lines, a buzzard stalks rats, leveretts and mice from a tree, songbirds fly up from the crop ahead of the harvester and he comments on the balance of nature and the things that can upset the delicate ecosystem that surrounds him.
At the end of the day, he shuts down the huge machine and it all goes eerily quiet. Only the sounds of the birds and trees can be heard as Andy says goodbye and heads off, after twelve hours in the cab, for a well-earned swim.
Fussell on Farming, Sunday and Friday at 4.30pm on 96.6fm or listen again on Frome.fm
Fussels Fine Foods is a FromeFM Community sponsor.
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