By the barn November 2020
Posted: 5th Nov 2020
“So purely, so palely, Tinily, surely, Mightily, frailly,
Insculped and embossed, With his hammer of wind, And his graver of frost.”
‘To a snowflake’, Thompson
How much rain will we get this November? Will it drown the seed and cause problems with harvest, as it did last year? Questions all farmers will be asking themselves as they continue to finish fieldwork and maize harvest if they haven’t already done so!
Hopefully, the month will be crisp and allow livestock to remain outside for as long as possible, without treading up the ground too much and without needing too much supplementary feed. After last year we are all maybe cautious as to what we have in store and may need to tide us over the winter. Dry, crisp, sunny days help keep bedding to a minimum, whereas wet, dank days mean the bedding doesn’t last as long.
Water-logged ground also means the growing crops may suffer through important nutrients and fertilizers being leached (washed out) out of the soil before they have had a chance of uptake. This is also a waste of money and effort.
Problems from run off from agricultural ground have been largely mitigated by the use of regulation as to when and how much fert or manure can be applied, but also by the use of buffer zones- an expanse of ground between the arable acreage and a watercourse.
Water is obviously a necessity and much is made of the amounts used in various production methods, particularly in the meat v vegan debate. Water footprints can be calculated and use 3 categories- green = rainfall, blue=tap water supply, grey= fresh water used to dilute pollution. So, for example english lamb uses 0.1% blue water and 96.6% green water, English beef equates to 0.4% blue water and 84.4% green. To produce 1 litre of milk uses 8 litres of blue (including washing down, cleaning etc) whereas 1litre of almond ‘milk’ requires 158 litres of blue (5,290 litres of blue to produce 1 kg of raw Californian almond kernels).
Trees are losing their leaves and hedgelaying begins. The Yew tree, famous for its wood and highly poisonous, retains its leaves and can live to more than a thousand years of age. Often found in churchyards, it provides the drug tamoxifen
Here rams are in with the ewes and we are looking forward to a good lamb crop and we have to move them frequently to available grazing. This years lambs are being sold through Bakewell and Ted is working well to collect, bring in and pen several times a week.
Posted by: Angela