By the barn June
Posted: 5th Jun 2017
Now it’s nearly mid-summer and the daylight hours are at their longest. The weather, hopefully is balmy and pleasant and our crops can start to ripen and our grass should be nearly ready for cutting and being made into silage for our winter feed.
We are keeping a close eye on our corn and ‘crop walk’ regularly, to check for pests and disease (and also to check how it is growing- whether there are any thin or bare patches- not that we can do much about it at this stage!).
Mid- field is a place that easily gets forgotten, but in large fields there may be ‘beetle-banks’- a thin and narrow strip of unsprayed and uncultivated ground, which is left for insects, beetles and spiders to thrive on.
These act as a natural form of pest control and anyone who has noticed the dew covered webs that criss-cross grass fields on damp, autumnal days, will know how far their reach can be! Rove Beetles, such as the ‘devils coach horse’, feed at night on insects and decaying plant material.
Small mammals benefit too, using the strip as a highway through, what might otherwise be dangerous, open country.
Sky lark plots are also found mid-field in large, open arable fields and they are used by the birds to forage, as, after April, winter sown crops are too dense for them to get into. The plots can be drilled as normal and then sprayed out or the drill turned off for a few yards when sowing the crop in the autumn.
Larks nest on the ground but rise high up, singing, then fall back down- beautiful to hear and see, one of the ‘summer’ sounds!
Our lambs will be growing well and be about ready for market- our business has to make a profit to survive afterall and we will visiting the livestock market to keep an eye on prices and see what sort/size of lambs are in demand.
The livestock will be taking up more of our time with regular weighing/worm treatment and we should be about at the end of calving now.
One of our cows was found to be an inconclusive reactor when we carried out our annual Btb test and has been kept inside, separate to any others while she is tested twice more to see if she goes clear. This takes up another 120 days of uncertainty!
Pip has settled into farmlife, although, as a puppy, she is lacking in sense and knows no fear at the moment.
This presents a little bit of a problem as she has to learn cattle can cause injury when chased or barked at and ewes will fight her off if she goes near their lambs, so we have to keep a very close eye on her and keep her restrained at times.
Posted by: Angela