Sugar Beet Special
We have harvested one field of sugar beet so far. We hire a contractor to harvest our beet, the harvester they use is a self propelled machine which weighs nearly 20t, costs over £350,000 and can lift 6 rows of beet out of the ground in one pass. It’s tank can hold 17t of sugar beet and empty in just 35 seconds. On the front of the machine there are a series of rotating blades which cut off the leaves and the crown of the beet. Then there are the lifters which lift the sugar beet and surrounding earth up, the beet are then carried under the machine in turbines, which are spinning drums which spin round, throwing stones, dirt and other unwanted debris out of the side. There are 6 turbines in total, after going through the turbines the beet are then lifted onto a trace and put into the tank. Then the trailer drives alongside and the beet are unloaded into it. The beet are either tipped onto a concrete pad or are tipped onto a field margin for loading by the “Maus” which is a big machine which picks up the beet off the ground and loads them into a lorry. This year the yields are good but the sugar content is lower than usual due to the weather. Modern varieties of Sugar beet contain about 20% sugar where as older traditional varieties were around 5% sugar.
The field that we harvested sugar beet from has now been ploughed and drilled with winter wheat. We have started ploughing stubbles for drilling with spring barley, spring beans and sugar beet in spring 2011.
We started drilling winter wheat and barley in late September but had to stop for 3 weeks because it was too wet. We have now finished all the drilling but all crops were late because of the rain in September and October this will mean the yields will be lower than usual.
The calves have been weaned (taken away from their mums) they mooed for about 3 days but they have got over it and are quite happy now. The cows have been pregnancy scanned, pregnancy rates are very good and they have now been turned back out to grass.
The sheep have been split into tupping flocks, one ram can cope with up to 50 ewes but normally with us we have 1 ram to about 25 ewes.
Shooting is going very well, the pheasant season started on the 1st October.