On the Farm
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Little did we know.
Little did we know last September 2019 that it would start raining and forget to stop raining till March of 2020.
Little did we know 6 weeks ago that a virus named Covid-19 would place most of the world’s population in lockdown and stretch the world’s health care and scientific community’s ability to respond.
The undoubted huge work being put in by those in the front line medical services have saved countless lives by their unwavering courage in helping those who are suffering from this virus. Our Doctors, Nurses, HCA’s, Paramedics, EMT’s, Hospital Cleaners, Porters, Medical Laboratory Technicians and anyone else in the Health Services, they are the real hero’s in the battle in this pandemic and we want say thank you.
The members of An Garda Siochana (the Irish Police Force for those not based in Ireland), The Defence Forces, The National Ambulance Service, Our Fire & Rescue Services, the Civil Defence, the Volunteer Medical Services, Coast Guard and anyone helping out at this critical time for our country. A huge word of thanks to you also.
Little did the average person in the world release that how important farming and food processing and supply chains now are and will be in the future, as we and our families rely on them at least 3 times a day to eat. Farmers and all those involved in food processing have kept the show on the road of the past number of weeks. Cows have been milk, calves and lambs have been born, fields have been tilled and crops planted (in what perhaps has been the best spring conditions in years). Milk has been collected and processed. Marts have been closed and reopened with a new way of operating. Animals for meat have been processed and the meat has been shipped to markets both at home and abroad (yes export and food service markets are in uncharted ground but we will bounce back even better than before).
This goes to show how resilient and adoptable our agri and food processing sectors are and as a nation we should be proud of this fact. We product some of the best food products in the world and having working in the processing sectors for years, I for one am extremely proud of it.
Well what have the Crop Cruisers team being doing? Well the short answer is we have been playing the waiting games. We played a waiting games since last September when it started raining and when it spotted in early March we were preparing to get going again. Tentative signs of movement from the teams we were following and Spring Tillage was about to start. The night of the 27th March, lock down and the shutters came down on most of the country and rightly so they came down to help contain the spread of the virus. We as a filming team have sat tight and we will do so until our health authorities give us the green light to do so again. It throws out our time table for releasing our DVD’s but like everything else that has been thrown at us we will overcome this as well.
Until such time as the restrictions we remind everyone that can, stay at home and help contain the spread of the virus. Those that have to work, stay safe and thank you for the work you are doing. And finally to everyone ensure you look after yourselves and those around you.
Till next time (a lot more regular from now on), for those essential works. stay safe and #bootdownanddriveon and for everyone else stay safe and #stayathome
Four weeks in, and the grain harvest is about 40% of the way being completed in some parts of the country. Other parts are a bit behind this but by in large a good start has been made.
Winter Barley and Winter Oats have been more or less cleared from the fields. Winter Oil Seed Rape is being put to the knife. Some tillage farmers have had a nibble into both Winter Wheat and Spring Barley but by in large the bulk of these crops are still a bit away from being cut. Winter Beans, Spring Beans, Spring Oil Seed Rape and Spring Wheat are still all a good bit away from being ripe.
The filming crew have been busy the last few weeks. As predicted the start harvest and second cut silage have come at the same time and has led to a few, let’s call them “late evenings”, it was still bright when we were leaving the field. For the most part things have worked out well but as usual in this country Mother Nature has taken a dislike to us and virtually everything has ground to a halt this weekend (09th August 2019, 2 inches of rain fall locally, here in North Cork).
Thankfully it allows the filming team to catch their breath, clean gear and recharge both physical and mental batteries and be reintroduced to our partners, who seem to think we have started an affair with either a Claas or a New Holland. The downtime also allows us to have a good examination of the footage we have got so far and also allows us put a plan together to get the footage we need get or need to reshoot when the weather comes back on side and things kick off again.
Looking back at some of the footage we already have in the can, it makes us all here at the Crop Cruisers team realise how lucky we are to be working such a great bunch of Farmers and Contractors. Anything we have suggested has been no problem and suggestions from the crews we have been working with have worked out fantastically as well. We have to thank them all for help, assistance and allowing us to capture them at work.
So as we wait for the weather clear we can relax knowing we are happy with what were have filmed so far but also knowing what we need to get.
Till next time, stay safe and #bootdownanddriveon
For the Blog. Sunday evening, raining outside, cows milked and the 9 o clock news is on the tv. Half an hour until the Sunday Game and I find myself drawn to the window where I can see our Black Magnum and it hits me square between the eyes how far we have come in three years and what we have achieved.
It hasn’t been easy by any means. Juggling family life, farm life and then The Crop Cruisers. 99% of the battle is having the perfect crew and we have that. Everyone rows in when needed, everyone has an equal say and opinions are always discussed and taken on board.
As a business model, The Crop Cruisers is what you would refer to as a volatile one, its completely at the mercy of others purchasing our merchandise. But it works. It works because we’re just 8 regular people that also have day jobs. It works because each one of us is constantly accessible. It works because we all have a common goal. And it works because there is 66 thousand people out there that enjoy what we do.
Every 3 months, I set out a goal for myself to hit certain targets across Social Media. This month has been absolutely off the wall. Our page reached over 3 million people. Half of those (1.5 million) engaged with the page. That’s numbers I never thought we would hit so soon. But we have and rather than rest on our laurels, we’re going to feed it another gear and kick on.
By now, it’s no secret that we’re working with Munster Rugbys, Arno Botha and Chris Cloete. Both ex Springboks and both fans of all things Agri related. Needless to say, there are some eyebrow raising moments when we arrive into a field but reactions are great and we’re all loving life. Its created a bit of a stir within the Munster PreSeason camp. Will there be more players joining us ? Wait and see 😎.
So as the rain eases off, it’s time I get away from this keyboard and down to the Magnum to tweak a few pieces on her. Sure, it’s not to everyone’s taste. But we wanted to build a tractor that we would be happy to spend 18 hours a day in if needed be. And we done that. 246hp on the shaft, luxury seat inside complete with it’s own screen feeding us the tractors performance, 360 degree LED lighting and its Black. Few more bits and she’ll be ripping up a field near you soon.
F*ck, it’s raining again
I’m only 37 minutes into my 12hr shift. As I sit here staring at a row of 12 stainless steel tanks from the plant control room waiting for the maintenance team to release a part of the plant back to the manufacturing team. I just realise how fast the year has been, plenty of things have been thrown my way both at work and at home. Some good, some not so good, but overall it’s been a good one. Thinking back over the past few months with the Crop Cruisers team has been a fairly busy one.
We finished filming back last October for one of our DVD’s but due to a change in circumstance with the contractor involved we are back filming with the team again this year hopefully with bigger and better things to come from it (oh and yes it certainly is so far).
We had a very serious issue with our Facebook page been hacked. This lead to a major drop off in activity on the page but thankfully our members stayed with us and after months of working both Facebook and the Gardai our page is back under our full control and normal service has resumed. We also recently updated out Snapchat account with Brendan & Stephanie playing a blinder. Expect more over the next weeks and months from all our social media accounts. Our website has been given an overhaul and will feature a lot more over the coming weeks and months.
We also had the pure pleasure to visiting two great machinery companies. Farmhand Ltd in Dublin & Broughan Engineering in Tullow County Carlow. We thank them both for their time in allowing us to call, interview some of their team and seeing their fine facilities. Both visits will feature in our upcoming DVD’s and on our Youtube page.
Updates to cameras (both video and still), Go Pros, Osmos and drones were made over the down period of the winter. New audio recording kit was also added along with new video editing software added to the arsenal so we are where we want to be on that front.
The new filming season started with a bag as we met up with both of our new contractors who will feature in our future productions. Filming 3 crews will put a lot of pressure on the camera team who are juggling work, exams, personal life and the weather to ensure we get what we want to get on film and that Irish Farmers and Contractors doing what they do best. Capturing the good and sometimes the not so good.
So far things have worked out well. First cut silage has been more or less been completed. The real test will come when the grain harvest starts and it coincides with second cut silage. Some of us could end up being divorced before we even get married.
The door opening of control room snaps me back to reality. The maintenance team are finished, all is good, we are back online and we easy back into production. Better go do some work, only 11 hours 22 minutes left in the shift.
Till next time, stay safe and #bootdowndriveon
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