Relying on rich harvest

The steady hum of engines along the Polotsk-Vitebsk motorway, the rich smell of a MAZ truck filled with freshly harvested grain and the sparkling headlights of lorries carrying bread are a true joy to farmers — finally rewarded for their long months of hard work

By Yevgeny Bestemianov

“You might not believe it but my heart is singing!” cheerfully admits the Director of Polotsk Agroservice JSC, Vladislav Vysotsky. “Here, in the fields, we can really feel our importance, having fulfilled our duty and been personally involved in a great deed. I sincerely envy my harvester operators, who are responsible for the most vital work. The closer they are to the process of making bread, the more responsible their mission…”

This year, Polotsk Agroservice needs to harvest over 1,000 hectares of grain and, so far, local harvester operators lead in the district — both for speed and volumes. Like all self-respecting farmers, they don’t tend to guess at future harvests, since bread volumes rely not on grain collected from the field but that stored in warehouses.

In fact, initial results are pleasing, with some winter rye fields yielding 53 centners per hectare. Over 500 tonnes of grain have been de-husked. Of course, harvesting is conducted with military precision, every stage being well organised. The harvesters move in line, each followed by heavy duty trucks, while fire-fighters and technical services work nearby. A quarter of fields have been harvested, allowing locals to assist at neighbouring farms. Private households are also soon to start harvesting.

“We can work in villages now,” admits one of the best harvester drivers, Alexander Rogovoy. At our request, he makes a short stop across the field, explaining, “Look at our machinery. In the past two years, we’ve almost fully updated our tractor and truck fleet, as well as our trailed devices. It’s now a true pleasure to go into the fields, operating such highly efficient vehicles. Moreover, we are motivated by the possibility of earning good money during the peak of the harvest season. We’re also given grain as a bonus. To save time, our meals are brought directly to the fields. How can we not set records under such conditions!”

“Alexander is our hero,” confirms Mr. Vysotsky. “He’s been harvesting grain for about ten seasons. Such people are the major wealth of our district, producing stable results for our joint stock company. We’ll thank all our grain growers after the harvest is in, and will invite journalists for a press conference. However, at the moment, we have no time for interviews, sadly. The grain awaits us…”

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