farm-notes

Tagged: farm notes

13 March, 2018

Farm Diary

The Villager

In the last few days we have had the snow and freezing winds of late February / early March. It is on such occasions that pheasant shoots are particularly helpful to the indigenous bird and mammal life. The extreme weather and frozen ground makes foraging for seeds impossible and without the shoots many songbirds would die within a few days without food. ...

18 February, 2018

Farm Diary

The Villager

I am writing this on 12th February and although the weather is still wintry the natural world is waking up after its winter slumbers. The days are longer – it is approaching 6 pm before properly dark on a good day – the clocks go forward on 24th March this year so soon warm light evenings, barbeques etc will be with us – hooray. ...

29 January, 2018

Farm Diary

The Villager

The January copy of the Villager contained comments about Neonicotinoid (neonic) seed dressings and a recent announcement by Michael Gove the Environment Secretary that was at best ill-informed and certainly misleading. ...

17 October, 2017

Farm News

The Villager

Julian is sat on a tractor drilling next year’s crops at the moment so this article is a quick look at our environment from “her in doors”. If you walk past a field where the ground is being turned over and look up you will probably see at least one and sometimes 7 or 8 kites circling the tractor looking to see what is being disturbed by the machine; an easy way to find lunch. If you look down, when walking the footpaths, you may see small mammals rushing to find sanctuary in the hedgerows or game cover around the fields. ...

29 September, 2017

Farm Diary

The Villager

The cereal harvest ended on 27th August (Bank Holiday Sunday) and the peas next day. We then helped some neighbours finish their cereal harvest so probably a record early finish. The quality of the grains we harvested were as bad as I predicted last month with the vast majority of crops south west of a line from Brighton to Oxford and then across to Wales being of feed quality rather than for milling, biscuit, malting or human consumption in general. The yields were mostly OK to good so the result from 2017 harvest can best be summed up as “it might have been wonderful but ended up being acceptable”. Drying charges were about average for us but the local cooperative store at Micheldever had grain intakes 1.5% higher than average – that equates to about another £4 per tonne of drying – so if harvesting 2000 t of grain that is an extra £8000 of cost. ...

23 August, 2017

Farm News

The Villager

It sounds very repetitive but the weather does dominate farming and today it is very wet again. To put the recent rainfall into perspective when I first started farming in Bentworth in the early 1980’s the annual rainfall was about 28 to 35 inches per year – 2.5 inches a month. The rain that we have recorded since July 12th is 8.8 ins not including today’s contribution which will probably be another inch or so – just in 28 days rather than 3 months. Bad for holiday makers and farmers! ...

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