By the barn June 21
Posted: 3rd Jun 2021
“Little trotty wagtail, he went in the rain,
And tittering, tottering sideways he near got straight again.”
June already and yet, where did spring go?
Warmth and a few nightly showers to help grass and crops grow tall will be very welcome! Farmers all over are limbering up for silage making if they haven’t already started- machinery checked and filled, trailers hitched and everyone waiting for the off.
Silage preserves the grass for the winter- a bit like making pickles when there is a glut, that you can bring out when there’s a lack in winter. It provides feed for livestock and isn’t as reliant on the weather as hay making, but it doesn’t need rubbish lurking in the long grass- fly tipped grass clippings/ wood and plastic get incorporated into the silage if it isn’t spotted and can contaminate the end product, causing illness or even death of the animal.
It is crucially important that the machinery is working well and everyone has the number of their mechanic to hand, as a breakdown is the last thing needed when we are so busy. Wasted hours cost and make for a grumpy farmer!
Most agricultural income goes back into the local economy- local mechanics, local workforce, local feed firms etc, so it makes sense to sustain a strong, profitable farming industry, whether that be dairy, livestock or arable.
As we come to the end of this seasons calving, the young cattle look content as they laze in the sun, tails twitching flies away, before leaping up to find their mums and suckle- foamy milk dripping from their mouths.
Our new lambs, getting on for two months old now, are nibbling at fresh grass and inquisitively investigating whatever their mum is keen to eat. Cade (bottle fed) lambs have been weaned onto a full diet of grass and some lamb pellets to aid growth, but they still call and rush over whenever they hear my voice (which can make crossing the field a tricky experience as their sharp little hooves dig into my leg as they jump up and then get under my feet!).
As you walk the footpaths, you may see Burnet moths on our field margins (a strip of unworked/sprayed/grazed land running alongside arable ground) as they feed on the Birds foot trefoil and vetches- green forewings spotted with crimson and crimson hindwing, they take two years to mature. If its warm, you will see the Buzzards high up, circling on the thermals, calling eerily and, if you look down, maybe small animals or birds dashing out of your way.
Posted by: Angela