Friday, 23 October 2009


Well, here we are 24 hour to go untill we leave for Amsterdam, in 36 hrs we'll be on the plane to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  Dad and I in conjunction with brother in law James and father in law John are due to start the climb on Tuesday.  Bags are packed, repacked and packed again with everything from longjohns to camel packs to re-hydration sachets (thanks hannah). I'll see if this get to farmer jakes blog so that I can blog from Africa's highest point, also known as the worlds highest free standing mountain, AKA the world highest volcano!!  Let's go!
Jake Freestone
Farm manager Overbury Farms

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Boddington Bean Drill

For the past 4 years we have been hiring the grandly named 'Boddington Bean Drill'. the drill belongs to Boddington Estate and is a Simba Flatliner with a Massey seeder unit stuck to the top of it. It is a great way of planting beans without the need for ploughing. The beans are planted to a depth of 6-8 inches aiming for 18 plants/m3 by the time the spring arrives. We can plant over 50 acres a day much more than previously possible. We have started planting earlier than usual as the soil conditions are so favourable onto some of our heaviest land. The soil is lightly worked after the drill to seal up the slots made by the legs. Derek has been driving the 8530 all summer and is using it to plant the beans. Auto trac is employed to keep the rows arrow straight to avoid over or under laps which will make sure all of the agrochemicals applied by the Bateman RB35 will be accurately applied.

Planting Time Again

With the very dry September drilling (planting) has been a stop start affair but with the wider drill, now 6m, we have been able to cover the ground in record breaking time. Gordon has taken up the drilling mantle from his brother Andrew and has been doing a great job. Working well into the night with the Auto trac guidance system keeping him on the straight and narrow. With only 12mm of rain in September we have had some very dry seedbeds to plant into and germination has been varied depending on the depth on seed into available moisture or not. Winter barley planted on Bredon Hill has shot through the ground, where moisture levels were higher but wheat sown into heavy land has yet to emerge. These heavy fields dig get 12mm of rain last week and so they should soon be emerging. I increased the seed rate looking at an emerge plant population as opposed to a seeding rate. Emergence date was the 20th October when we planted in the last week of September so we'll see how close that is. the clip shows Graham rolling with our 6m Simba rolls and Gordon Drilling with the 7830 and the sprinter 6. Derek is just over the wall rolling with the cousins 12m set of rolls, new this year.