Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Field Surfing an Organic Alternative?

This is Derek this morning topping out the yellow flowered Charlock in the field growing stubble turnips and forage rape for the lambs to feed on over the winter. Charlock is a real pain as it belongs to the same family 'brassica' as the actual crop so we can not spray it out. We weed surfer is like a flymo that is carried along behind the tractor trimming of the flowering heads and some of the pods that have already been set. The trick is to get the surfer low enough to cut the charlock but not to low as to damage the actual crop. Some of the outer leaves will be chopped a little but they will recover after the rain we have just had and the warm soil temperatures. The lambs will be running out of grass during October and so they will need to be grazing the turnips in November and hopefully they should last the lambs until March. Anybody know how many grazing days an acre of turnips should last?

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Not a LEAF Supporter!

This was the sight that greeted me this afternoon above Beckford Court Farm. Paul Gillett phoned me to give me the news that someone in their idol stupidity had vandalised one of our LEAF boards! Why? Who knows. It wasn't offensive, didn't block a right of way, didn't offend any ones views nor did it discriminate against any aspect of society. It was just sitting there telling people about what we as farmers do to manage the countryside.

It's not really the expense, they cost about £4 each but it's the frustration and the time involved in replacing them. Do have a quiet word with me if you can shed any light on how this occured.

Drilling, or planting as some people like to call it, is going well and the welcome rain has at last got the Oilseed Rape plants to germinate. It is still touch and go if they will be strong enough to last through the winter.