Cereal prices have been depressed since before harvest and we are currently storing our grain in the hope that the price will increase.
The winter wheat and barley have been drilled in good conditions. Thanks to a good rain (finally) everything should germinate and grow well. All the autumn drilled crops have been sprayed with a pre-emergence herbicide to control black grass, chickweed and many other weeds.
The first field of sugar beet (approx 30 acres) has been lifted and despite the dry conditions earlier in the year the yield looks quite good. We hope to get about 25 tonnes per acre. Therefore the heap which was at Trickers Farm is about 750 tonnes or about 25 lorry loads. We expect the sugar content of the beet to be quite high because lots of sunshine means a high sugar percentage (around 20%) and we have had plenty of sun this year! Some of you may have seen a big machine loading sugar beet onto lorries over the hedge from a pile in the field. It is a German machine called a Maus, it is self propelled and has a big header on the front for picking up sugar beet and then a long unloading arm on the back for filling lorries and also for cleaning the sugar beet as they go up it. This machine is a new concept designed so that sugar beet can be tipped on headlands, avoiding driving trailers on the roads and therefore keeping mud off the roads. This is a contractor’s machine - a new one costs around £280,000.
The partridge shooting has continued successfully and we will begin shooting pheasants quite soon. Rob is happy to supply oven ready partridges and pheasants Tel: 01473 823333.
Because it was so dry and there was so little grass we have had to wean the calves so that their mothers don’t lose too much condition. Now that the rain has come, we have turned the cows back out to grass but the calves are on winter rations and will be staying in. About 100 ewes have been split into 3 different groups with one ram to each group. Tupping is going on fine.
The new shed is progressing albeit rather slowly because of all the autumn work. We have dug a trench for the telephone line and the electricity cables. The gates and feed barriers have been ordered and should be arriving soon. There is still some concreting to be done at the front of the shed.