Calving & Lambing
Calving has been slow lately, with a 3 week lull between calvings, we only have 12 cows left to go and they should all calve by May 10th. All of the earlier calving cows, numbering 45, have been turned out to grass and are enjoying the typical April weather. Lambing is now completed and all the ewes and lambs have been turned out to grass.
Shows and Competitions
Last week we entered 6 lambs in the Eastern Suffolk Sheep Club carcase competition and were delighted to win 6 prizes including champion and reserve champion. We are looking forward to the show season, Dad has picked out a few yearlings and sheared them so that their wool can grow back and they will look smart in time for the first show which is the Hadleigh Show on 19th May.
All the sugar beet, drilled in late March, have now emerged and are looking promising. The Oilseed rape is in flower now and all other cereals have been fertilised and are progressing nicely. The April showers are doing a lot of good. Despite only being a small amount the rainwater gets to soak into the soil instead of running off into streams and rivers. This is doing a world of good to the crops and grass and should ensure their promising progress continues.
As people who walk the footpath along the bottom of the hills (next to the village) will know, the field can be waterlogged and boggy in places. This is, in part, due to collapsed and blocked drains in the field. We have been working to improve and repair the drains in the area. We hired a ‘drain jetter’ which is a tractor mounted piece of kit which has a long reel of hose and a high pressure pump. The nozzle on the end of the hose has 10 backward pointing jets to propel it up the drain and one in front to clear blockages. We supplied water using a bowser or pumped from the stream, the machine will use around 2000L of water per hour when in constant use. Many of the drains were blocked by ‘ochre’ which is an iron oxide (rust) compound found in the soil. We have dug up and replaced many of the drains and will continue to maintain and fix recurrent problems.