Sunday, 26 August 2007

Let Battle Commence

The annual battle of farmer v's slugs has resumed this week. High tech farmers armed with heavy machinery, slug pellets, a strategy to reduce the slugs invasion and lots of careful watching of the fields. The felon armed with an ability to lay eggs and reproduce faster than even the randiest of rabbits and an insatiable need to eat Oilseed Rape seedlings and newly planted wheat seeds.

Our latest deployment is to pull our two sets of rolls along one behind the other. This is effectively rolling the fields twice but only using one tractor and one pass. This speeds up the operation and reduces the cost. Time is always in short supply at this time of year. With the land consolidated (rolled) the slugs find it harder to move around looking for tasty snacks. We will have to follow up and apply a light dressing of slug pellets to try and protect the crop as it emerges. If germination is even and the crops establishes (grows) well then one application should be enough.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Late Nights

Combining is going well in this 'summer' month! We started cutting wheat on Monday (6th August). This is historically when we would start. Here is the combine cutting Hereward, a bread making variety of wheat, in Big Grass Drier field. The results so far have been disappointing on yield and quality. This wheat will probably not make milling grade and will be down graded to animal feed. I don't think it had enough sunlight when it was growing and the wet weather at the end of it's 'grain filling' time put the crops off resulting in poor grain fill , leading to depressed yields. At least the price is compensating for the lack of yield.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Dog Poo Wrapped Just For You

I went for run last night (madness I know) along the Whorlies track going from Beckford through to Crashmore lane. What did I find along the way? 4 bags of dog poo that the owners had kindly collected in a bag and then left! What is going on? Is it the thought and embarrassment of walking along carrying a little, sweet smelling package? Is it the quandary of what to do with that package when you get home? What ever the excuse, there is no excuse! You have a dog, you clear up after your dog and you take the rubbish home with you PERIOD! You wouldn't leave a package like that in the high street in Cheltenham, or drop food wrappings out of your car window driving down the M5, then why leave that rubbish in the countryside where someone else has to pick it up! Take responsibility for your own lives and live them responsibly or stay at home where the dog can poo in your own garden. It's not just along this track I've found neat packages everywhere on Bredon Hill. If I find out who it is I might be tempted to deliver a little package of my own, and I'll leave you to guess just what that package might contain.