The autumn cultivations have been proceeding very well; rain followed by a good dry spell allowed us to get all drilling finished in good time.
We recently harvested the first field of sugar beet, a decent yield of about 650 tonnes of beet were lifted from 30 acres. Unfortunately the weather was wet while we were lifting and moving the beet so inevitably the roads were made muddy.
However we try to clear up the mud as soon as possible and will sweep the roads again when it rains. We recently purchased a GPS guidance system for our sprayer. This will enable us to spray accurately on crops without tramlines. To set up a field you must first drive around the outside of the field and the system will then work out the area of the field. Then as you spray it shows the sprayed parts of the field onscreen. Now that this summer’s oilseed rape has been sold we know how much there was: given the tough weather a yield of 3.7t/hectare (1.5t/acre) was better than expected. However prices are down compared to last year, wheat 20% and oilseed rape 30% due to a good global harvest.
All 120 of our ewes have been split in to 5 tupping flocks of about 25 with a ram in each flock, including our two new stock rams which can be seen on the Stock Rams page. Tupping (mating) is proceeding quickly so we are expecting a busy lambing from 10th March onwards. We have nearly finished selling rams, we took 12 to Ashford ram sale in October and were happy with the prices.
The mild, wet autumn had meant there is plenty of grass for the livestock, as a result we delayed bringing the cows and calves in from grass for a few extra days. They have now been weaned and housed ready for winter.
We hired a concrete crusher and crushed about 200 tonnes of rubble from a demolished house, we have used the rubble to improve lots of tracks around the farm. William Partridge is leaving the farm to move to France, we wish him well in the future and welcome Laurie Payne as his replacement.