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By the barn july 2021

Posted: 5th Jul 2021

“For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,

Joining the town and just at hand, Where waters gushed and fruit trees grew, And flowers put forth a fairer hue,”

Robert Browning

July brings with it the shearing of ewes and rams, if not already done and spraying of lambs to keep flies away. Although our adult sheep are wormed only when necessary (to try to keep product resistance at bay), it is important the young lambs are treated regularly- they haven’t the immunity older sheep have and can be badly affected or even die. Some farms dip all their sheep, but a special license is needed and our old dipping bath was concreted over many years ago. Although mobile dips and staff can be hired.

Silage making is taking up a lot of time for livestock farmers and for arable ones, the end is nearly in sight for this years’ corn crops as they begin to ripen in the summer sun- a long period of settled weather is appreciated by all!

Hay making is usually carried out now but needs a long fine spell to dry the mown grass, allow it to be turned a couple of days and then to be rowed up, baled and moved under cover- bad luck if you suffer from hayfever (as hubby does).

Here we grow corn to feed our livestock, as we try to keep input costs down, but other farmers prefer to buy in feed as its easier make sure there is a more complete nutrition available. Mixes can be tested and supplements obtained if necessary.

Harvest also brings its own worries- is the corn store cleaned and vermin proof (particularly for milling grain), is the grain dry enough (too dry and there are deductions /too damp and there are also deductions), is the machinery serviced and working properly, are staff on standby?

Harvest is also a dusty, grubby job and usually means long hours- please take care when in the vicinity of mechanical equipment- its so easy for accidents to happen, through tiredness, through desire to get the job done and through inexperience.

Lots of umbrelliferous plants (umbrella-like) abound, such as Cow parsley, Fools parsley, Wild carrot, Angelica and the poisonous Hemlock (identifiable by the purple spots on the stem)- all found on wasteland, field boundaries and hedgerows – probably buzzing with numerous insects such as Hoverflies and Orange-tip butterflies as they are a good source of pollen.

We’ve seen many hares around the farm and several leverets and they are a joy to watch as they zigzag away- even the dogs don’t bother chasing as they know they’d never catch one (not that we’d let them!). Image

Posted by: Angela
Categories: Farming

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