Winter is the quietest period in the pea year with much of the time being taken planning the next harvest - volumes of products are agreed on and complex Harvesting and Drilling plans are drawn up. These plans consider many factors such as, soil type, aspect, altitude, latitude and the relative maturity of the different varieties. These factors produce a ‘staggered’ Drilling Programme to achieve a progressive ripening sequence required to supply an even flow of fresh peas to the freezing factory 21 hours per day for 45 days – this is no mean feat.
From these plans the total volumes of seed are calculated and deliveries arranged for the required amount of seed to be despatched to the individual members’ farms. The aim is to have seed on the ‘early land’ members’ farms for the first of March so that if conditions are suitable sowing can begin shortly afterwards.
Whilst the winter period is quiet in the growing cycle, it is the busy time in the workshop where the machines are thoroughly overhauled ready for the forthcoming season. Each machine is stripped down and virtually re-built, with any worn or damaged items replaced to ensure maximum reliability with minimal breakdowns during the hectic 24/7 harvesting period. Each machine takes around 5 weeks to complete so with four in the fleet this can take in excess of four months.
ROLL ON SPRING!