Harvest is underway- the winter barley was all harvested in the sunny weather in late July, yields are looking decent with an estimated 3t/acre of good quality malting barley. The new combine has been performing well, enabling us to harvest more reliably with fewer breakdowns and higher output. The Oilseed Rape was sprayed with a desiccant to kill the plant and ensure even ripening. Three weeks after being sprayed combining began and it has now been finished. Even with the hailstorm, yields are looking good with an estimate of 1.5t/acre. The wheat is not quite ready yet but hopefully the recent good conditions will continue.
Animal feed and bedding
The high rainfall has ensured there is a surplus of grass which is great and all the stock are thriving because of this. We have also made a reasonable amount of hay and have a large amount of silage ready for the winter. We have made 1144 round bales from the winter barley straw. This is great as we have got enough straw without using any wheat straw which is much dustier than barley straw and not as nice for the stock.
About one quarter of the ewes have been put to the ram so that we will have an early group of lambs born at Christmas and well grown enough to be shown at the early summer shows. The other 75 ewes and any that aren’t in lamb from the early group, will be put to the rams in October for a March lambing. We were pleased to receive an order for breeding sheep to be exported to Germany, the first export from the Kersey Flock of Suffolk Sheep. This involved lots of paperwork, blood testing and genotyping, having passed all these test, the export eventually went ahead.
It has been a bizarre year for weather, fortunately the crops seem to have been coping ok with the excess rain and cold in June and early July. One area that has really benefited is the newly planted wood which is establishing well and growing twice as fast as it might in an average year.