Drilling

Drilling was planned to start at the optimum time, in early September, however the large amount of rainfall just when we were about to begin meant that this was not possible as the ground was too wet.  There was a window in the second week of October where we were able to drill most of the land.  We still have 2 fields to drill which will be done as soon as it is suitably dry. 

Sugar beet

We have harvested 30 acres (12h) of sugar beet and were very pleased with the yields, which were around 80t/h which is weight adjusted for 16% sugar content.  Our actual average sugar content was 17.9%.  Normally we would plough and drill the land that had sugar beet grown on it straight away but this year it is too wet to do this at the moment.

Grain Quality

When looking at grain there is a measure called thousand grain weight (TGW), as its name suggests this is the weight in grams of 1000 grains.  Last years’ TGW for the wheat was 63g which was within the normal range.  This year it was only 43g, this is because of the very high number of shrivelled grains, however shrivelled grains seem to have a minimal effect on germination; the seed we are using was tested and found to have a germination rate of 95%. 

Cattle

The cows and calves have been housed and weaned, the cows and heifers were subsequently ultrasound scanned and 66 of the 76 scanned were found to be in calf.  The 10 barren cows will be culled in due course. 

Sheep

The ewes have been split into 5 groups for tupping (mating), each group of ewes will be with a different ram.  As a pedigree flock careful records have to be kept about which ewe bred with which ram so that we know the parentage of the lambs.  We sold 44 rams for breeding this year, the last few were sold at Ashford Market for a slightly disappointing price.