As winter closes in the cattle have been housed and weaned. The calves were weighed and wormed using a pour-on wormer. The average weight of the spring born calves was 320kg which equates to a growth rate of over 1kg per day since birth. This growth rate should be maintained through the winter by feeding them on fodder beet, straw and a home produced cereal ration. The cows are on winter rations of straw, silage and malt nuts. The cows have been pregnancy scanned: we are expecting over 50 single calves and 4 sets of twins. The foot trimming contractor came and trimmed the hooves of 12 of our cows. He uses an electrically powered turn over crush to restrain the cattle and turn them onto their sides so that he can work safely on their feet.
It has been very wet lately which has made arable work particularly tricky. However, we managed to complete all drilling and spraying of pre-emergence sprays on the cereals to combat black grass, wild oats and broadleaved weeds. The oilseed rape is growing very well, and is almost knee high, a stark contrast to the poor initial growth last year.
Another field of sugar beet has been lifted, leaving just 1/3rd of our beet in the ground. With the recent 30mm of rain lifting of the remaining beet will have to wait in order to avoid damaging the soil structure. We have ploughed all the land that is due grow sugar beet next year.
A wet November is typically a quiet month in the arable calendar but there remains work to do on hedges, ditches, drains, fencing and buildings.