Monday, 16 March 2009

Autotrac on 6930

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This is the John Deere autotrac system working on our 6930 drilling spring barley last week. The tractor is GPS guided pulling the drill at 4m intervals across the field (we hope) The system was added to the tractor last summer to help reduce the costs of further chemical applications by not overlapping the passes and thus the fertiliser or pesticides subsequently applied. Once set up the system is fairly accurate. This should then make sure that the tramlines for the sprayer are exactly 36meters apart. A small inaccuracy of say 10cm, over 9 passes (9x4=36) equates to the tramlines being 90 out in either direction, which is quite a lot.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Spring Ploughing

With the dry weather returning we employed Phil Odam Farm Contractors to spread some organic mushroom compost ahead of spring barley on some light land. The compost is great stuff for increasing the soils organic matter, which will help retain moisture in a dry year (not required for the last two!) and make it easier to cultivate in the future, oh and great food for worms as well! It has a few nutrients in it as well to help the crop get established and to feed it when it starts warming up and the nutrients are released by microbial activity. Having ploughed the field, we'll wait a few days for the top to dry out and then drill more 'Tipple' spring barley.

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Derek was loading the compost yesterday and today he was ploughing it all in, to reduce the risk of air pollution to our neighbours (wouldn't want the air to smell like the countryside now would we)! It also helps to lock up any nitrogen, stopping it from being released into the atmosphere.

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Monday, 2 March 2009

Spring Planting Apace

With the recent dry weather, yes it's been dry for at least 2 weeks, last time that happened was in 2003, or so it seems, the land has been dry enough to travel on. Gordon here > is drilling Tipple Spring Malting Barley on Bredon Hill. This is under contact to Coors, via Frontier Agriculture, to go to Burton-on-Trent to be made into Carling lager next year. The dry weather following the frost has given us lots of frost tilth and the seed bed is nice and fine. We put some nitrogen fertiliser into the seed bed before we cultivated it so that it was worked into the soil to surround the seedlings as they germinate to hopefully get them off to a really good start. Gordon is hoping to finish the field tonight before it rains, tomorrow.

On the 11th April we are having our annual Farm Lambing Day. Tractors and trailers will be leaving Overbury village hall, from 10am until 3pm, to take you up to Park Farm to see the lambing for yourselves. The game keeping dept, of Paul, Greg and Rod will also be there to uncover a few of the myths behind the dark and shady underground world of game keeping, accompanied by the stuffed or frozen usual suspects, friends or foe! Lunch will be available to purchase at the village hall from 12 am until 2pm, tea and coffee will be available all day. There is a small charge of only £5 for adults and children will travel free. It is a really super day out for all of the family, so bring them along, no matter what the weather is doing, and we'll be pleased to show you all about the lambing and sheep production here at Overbury. It got very busy last year between 11 and 1, so if you can try and get there early.