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By the Barn March 21

Posted: 7th Mar 2021

“The trees are coming into leaf

Like something being said, The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief” Philip Larkin

March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” , hopefully foretelling settled and warm weather for spring. The days are certainly longer ( especially with the clocks going forward) and, somehow, there seems just more time to do things.

Which is just as well as there’s a lot more to do.

Turnout time is here for our cows, especially if the weather is benevolent, but they have to pass the Btb test first.

After the continual feeding/bedding routine, whilst they’re inside, It’s a joy to watch them kicking their heels up( the old ones too!) as they rush out to pastures they know so well and in a couple of months the main calving period begins.

Our ewes are being fed in preparation for lambing, as the unborn lambs are growing most quickly now- so that’s a tricky job, trying not to get bowled over in the rush.

The longer daylight hours kickstart the new grass growth and as it grows quickly, it is sequestrating Carbon. Fertiliser will be applied soon to make sure it has enough nutrients to help it grow, although our old ridge and furrow won’t get any as it is in a conservation scheme which forbids any improvement .

Any field work we have got to do needs doing as soon as we can now and a check round of crops already sown is in order.

I’ll be checking all our lambing equipment soon and restocking on items like iodine/surgical spirit for navel dips, adequate stocks of dried colostrum and milk powder and making sure the less routine equipment is still ok.

Dairy cattle will also be going out and making more and more milk as the nutrition in the grass improves. This spring flush does cause price to drop as there is plenty of milk available and there is a new dairy code of conduct being put into legislation, to set minimum standards of business practise- milk buyers have previously been able to change terms and introduce price cuts without negotiation.

You might see secretive Bullfinches, with their exquisite deep red breast, sitting singing in shrubs or fruit trees and brimstone butterflies with their sulphur yellow wings around the alder trees, after over wintering in ivy. The alder trees themselves will be flowering before the leaves appear.

March, a magnificent abundant month! sycamore flowers

Posted by: Angela
Categories: Farming

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