The weather has once again been a hindrance with the spring work. In the short dry spell in the first week of March we applied base fertiliser to all the cereals and the oilseed rape. Most of the fields which had sugar beet on them last season have been drilled with spring barley. However, the ground was so wet we have had to leave the headlands undrilled. The oilseed rape is suffering particularly badly this year due to the cold weather and also pigeon damage. Hopefully it will dry up soon so that we can begin groundwork on the land to be drilled with sugar beet this spring.
Up until a couple of years ago we ran a large commercial game shoot, however our game keeper wanted to move on so we decided to stop running the shoot. This left us with a large amount of game rearing equipment which we have been washing over the past few weeks and have now taken to another farmer’s reduction sale. All the runs, cages, feeders and drinkers needed pressure washing before loading onto a trailer and transporting to the sale site. Once there all the runs were assembled and placed in lots.
The quail chicks are growing up nicely and will start laying in the next few weeks. An hour before writing we took a second hatch of quail out of the incubator. It was not quite as successful as the previous one but more may hatch over the next 12 hours.
Lambing has started, we have had about 80 lambs out of 160 due to be born, with, thankfully no signs of Schmallenberg so far. The current thinking is that after being infected with the Schmallenberg virus ewes will become immune to the disease, and this theory is certainly backed up by the fact that we have not seen any cases in this group of lambs. It is not clear yet how long this immunity will last.