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By the barn Feb 2020

Posted: 3rd Feb 2020

And you each gentle animal

In confidence may bind, And make them follow at your call, If you are always kind.” Sarah J Hale

Short though February is and half way to Spring, it can still take us by surprise and there’s the old saying- “ as the days get longer, the cold gets stronger”.

But after the wet of Autumn and Winter, the drier January and hopefully February might mean that some winter seed can still be sown, if ground conditions are suitable. Oats should be ok and some varieties of Wheat and Barley and that might help cash flow, as it’s not wasted after all.

Hedge laying is in full swing and coppicing in some cases- cutting off the shrub quite low and when the sap starts to rise next month, the plant will be invigorated and want to grow up towards the sun. This particularly suits Hazel and makes a good, thick hedge. The black berries of ivy are an insect and bird magnet this month.

We still have some lambs to send to market when they are ready and continue to check and weigh them regularly. Picking off the long bramble lashes is a painful business, as they love ivy too and the two seem to grow together!

Their mothers, which should be in lamb, are also checked for condition as we don’t want them too fat or too thin. This means a lot of work for Ted.

We’ve had a couple of new born calves and these have been tagged, castrated if necessary and dehorned before they are too old- they don’t like being separated from their mum while we do it and she certainly doesn’t want us to interfere with it! The cattle are still inside and bedding is running short by now- we may need to buy in.

The Agricultural industry still has the worst record for deaths and serious injury- falls, livestock and machinary being the main causes. It’s still too easy to be rushed and cut corners, or try to save a few pounds and do it yourself and animals are unpredictable, large and determined. If something happens to you, what happens to your farm? Let’s also bust a myth or two, this month- after what seems like ‘let’s Bash farming’ season, maybe it’s time to put some things right.

So first- in the UK, agriculture produces less greenhouse gas emissions than transport or residential - 10% as opposed to 27% and 15% respectively

And second- British beef has a GHG footprint 2 1/2 times LOWER than the global average

Next month, I’ll have a couple more myths to bust.

Posted by: Angela
Categories: Farming

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