Friday, 27 August 2010

Princes Countryside Fund

I was sent this link through Twitter from and I found it really interesting so I though I would pass it onto my followers and post it on the blog for all to see. Agriculture is such a wide, diverse, complicated industry looking after so much of our countryside and nature, there is still so much to learn about. Maybe the silver lining about the wet weather means I can sit in the office and learn a little more about our great industry.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Pea Fed Lamb Time Again

It's that time of year again when the aftermath of the pea crops are utilized by the lambs. With so little grass around at the moment the availability to ship 500 lambs onto the peas for a few weeks really takes the pressure off the main grazing areas.
An advanced group of lambs have been grazing the peas now for 5 weeks and 2 days. They will soon be ready to sell as our 'Pea Fed Lambs'.
If you are interested in this very special opportunity, with unique flavours and rated by top London chefs do get in touch with Suzie at the Estate Office for more details. Orders need to be with us by the 1st September to secure your whole (£155+delivery) or half lamb (£80+delivery).

Monday, 23 August 2010

Indoor Catchup

Well with all of the wet weather it has meant that I have been able to catch up with a few jobs in the office. First on the list was to try and download some video taken during the harvest (still 1/3rd to go) Next I thought I would have a go at my soil protection review, to fill in the new mapping pages. Then I remembered that the maps that I have, through the RLR (Rural Land Registry) are incorrect. I did send details of the corrections with my SP5 form in May but as yet there have been no new maps issued. Oh well there's no point in doing the review on incorrect maps only then to have to redo them on the correct maps, assuming they will ever be corrected and agreed! With the rain beating down on the office window and the forecast not looking particularly special this could be a long week of finding indoor jobs to do. Back to coding invoices I guess!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Harvest Update

We've had a crazy couple of days, with the weather being as good as it has been (at least in this neck of the woods). The combine has been working hard, with numerous balers in hot pursuit, gobbling up the straw before the next shower appears from the Severn Vally.
Luckily the crops were sprayed off with Glyphosate which meant the straw was fit and ready to bale once the combine had been through the crop. (I dithered again this year about spraying them off but again glad I did!)Many thanks to the teams of balers, lorries and loaders taking the bales off the fields ready for Oilseed Rape drilling in the next couple of weeks.
Group 1 milling wheat safely gathered in tackling the Group 2 Cordiale tomorrow and Friday before the Tipple seed and malting barley. Another good week of sunshine and we will have cracked the back of the cereal harvest leaving the beans, which BTW are ready now!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Seed Cleaning

Really busy on the farm today. CAM (Cotswold Agricultural Merchants) arrived promptly at 8.30 to start cleaning and dressing next years seeds that we will be planting in a month or so. First on the list is Scout, a Group 3 biscuit making wheat. Next will be Gallant, followed by Solstice both milling wheats.
In addition to the seed cleaners arriving the sun also put in an (unexpected) appearance meaning men and tractors were at a premium to get harvesting and seed cleaning and grain drying completed simultaneously. Never the less all jobs progressing well at the moment (fingers crossed). I will be studying the forecast carefully today (and assuming the opposite), still trying to get the Grasshoppers out to watch the combine

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Monday, 9 August 2010

All in a Day's Work

Yesterday the team had a really good day combining winter wheat (Oakley) on Manor Farm, Conderton. The moisture started off at about 17% but soon dropped in the summer sunshine and stiff breeze. Tim kept Gordon and Tod busy on the trailers all day carting the grain back to Graham in the grainstore. By the end of the day nearly 400tonnes had been harvested and put into the bulk shed.
The autotrac was working well, here munching off a 9m part of the field to inch perfect accuracy.

The straw was sold off the field and the baler was hot on the heels of the combine all afternoon and by the following day many of the bales had been carted back to the farm.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


After the combine, following a couple of days later, is the Vaderstadt Topdown, one pass cultivation system. This is a really great piece of farm equipment, versatile in all kinds of situations. From going straight into the stubble, see left, or working down ploughing the machine is very good at creating a seedbed, whilst doing a moderate job at some slightly deeper cultivation. Not as deep as a subsoiler but good shallow pan busting. The tractor, driven by Derek, is a John Deere 8530 pulling a 4meter machine, which on some of our steep fields is wide enough!