After a slow start the crops are finally catching up thanks to the recent warmer weather. The sugar beet are looking good, they have just been hoed to get rid of any weeds and breakup the soil to aerate it. The sugar beet leaves have developed enough so that should any weeds re-grow they will not get enough light to compete with the beet. The spring drilled barley is growing well, it is quite tall so there should be lots of good straw this year. The wheat is now well developed and will receive its final fungicide treatment of ‘earwash’ this week. Overall the cereals are looking very good given the conditions earlier in the year. Higher than average yields are expected! The oilseed rape has finished flowering- good news for hay fever sufferers! It has grown vigorously and recovered from pigeon damage in all but the most severely affected places. Harvest will start around mid-July dependant on the weather.
We finally had enough dry days in a row to make about 600 small bales of hay. We also made 120 ‘round’ bales of haylage. These bales are wrapped in plastic and ensile in the grass juices. The grass to make haylage does not need to be dried as much as hay so is less hassle, however, the plastic wrap is more expensive.
We recently submitted faecal samples from the sheep to the vet lab so they can carry out a (Faecal Egg Count) FEC. This involves inspecting the sample under a microscope and counting the number of worm eggs and Coccidia oocysts. The results are sent back to us and we can decide whether or not the animals need treating. Treatment involves dosing the animals with a suitable wormer or Coccidiocide. This means that the animals are not wormed unnecessarily which could cause the worms to build up resistance to the wormer. The Suffolk Show yielded moderate results on the first day and an exciting win of the interbreed group of three on the second. All the sheep have been sheared and the show sheep are being prepared for the Norfolk Show. We have been continuing with sales of finished beef cattle to Colchester market.