Friday, 26 November 2010

Hands Off Our Kit!

As part of the one going battle against farm theft we have installed the CESAR cesarscheme datatag system on our farm tractors, JCB and combine.  The potential problem really came home to roost when a neighbouring farmer had a tractor, very similar to one of ours, stolen a couple of weeks ago.  There are some shocking statistics from the agricultural and construction industry with 11,174 machines stolen in the last two years. That's more than 15/day, with huge cost to the industries and major hassle when a machine is stolen.  Gone are the days when you could just pick up another tractor off the shelf, they're normally built to specification and to order.

We do take farm and village security very seriously and so this seemed the logical next step.  The system was very quickly installed by Chris Tallis Farm Machinery christallis and was up and running immediately.  I first saw the service in the Farmers Weekly security supplement and thought that the combination of stickers, chips and DNA paint seemed a belt and braces approach that meant we would be more secure.  The photo attached was taken by John from dark arts marketing who are running the marketing campaign for CESAR.  Keep your eyes open for our combine appearing (in print) all over the place, it is after all quite distinguished!

Thursday, 25 November 2010


With the majority of the arable work done, just some P and K to apply when I conditions allow, our eyes turn towards the inevitable winter maintenance requirements.

This winter we are focusing on fencing.  With about 2.5Km needing attention we will be quite busy for most of the winter.  The most urgent ones, those containing the sheep in will be targeted first.  The fencing team is made up of Derek, Gordon and Graham (when he isn't loading grain - lots moving at the moment).  We are currently doing some of the fences at Manor Farm Conderton before heading up on Bredon Hill (hopefully it will be warmer by then!)  As always the team is accompanied by a 45 gallon drum to burn all of the off cuts and old stakes providing some much needed warmth during breakfast and lunch.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Movember Artistry

Well the month of Movember is rapidly approaching a close and our Mo's are looking very splendid indeed.  For those of you Mo Bro's and Mo Sista's out there who don't know what we're on about,  a few of us have been raising the awareness of mens health, mainly testicular and prostrate cancer, during the month with some facial topiary!  Dominic came over today to have a look around some fields and Penelope grabbed us for a quick photo session!  To find out more about these issues and get involved just click the link movember This Movemeber is coming to an end but the worldwide charity event, I'm sure will be about next year.  So if you want to get creative with your face then get involved!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Malvern Conference

Tonight I am at the Malvern Showground at a conference with the title, 9 Billion People 'Feeding Britain in the Global Context'. First up is Professor Sir John Beddington responsible for all science and engineering in the UK.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Ploughing For Spring Barley

After the very exciting EBLEX progressive sheep group meeting, it was nice to get home and see how the farm is progressing. I caught up with Derek ploughing in MF Allotments, getting it ready for spring barley, due to be planted early next year. We're ploughing some of the hill land to speed up the spring workload even though it costs slightly more per hectare than using the topdown in the spring. It will also allow us to start planting earlier in the year as the ploughed land should dry out faster.

Lamb Control

Today we had to move a small bunch of store lambs down the road from a field of grass onto some stubble turnips.  The turnips were planted in the summer and should provide enough winter feed to fatten these lambs.  They are in a bunch of 77, with a further 260 to follow in a couple of days.  The road was quiet and after we had got them out of the gateway they moved swiftly down the road.  It amuses me that if you ever want to get sheep out of a gateway intentionally they will not oblige, however, leave that gate open when you want to remain in the field it's a different story!  Storm, the sheepdog, favourite at Wychall school, makes an excellent cornering manoeuvre to herd the flock into the field gateway.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

UK Grain-Event

This a first for Farmer Jake, remotely sending a picture from the phone, uploaded straight to the blog.  I have slightly edited the words as I didn't know if it would work or not, but hey presto here it is!
Well, I've had a successful day at the East of England Showground looking at all aspects of grain.  From the marketing forecasts from Jack Watts ,of the HGCA, for this and the coming season, to various building manufacturers and grain drying equipment it really was an interesting time.  I met some interesting people, some with old Overbury connections, and some new contacts as well, worth the 2.5 hr drive, definitely!

Well now that I have mastered this skill, well the IT dept have (thanks Suzie), you never know where the next blog update will be sent from.......

Monday, 1 November 2010

Autumn Rolling In

This is a view along Crashmore Lane running towards our main farm buildings.  The hedges and verges have just been very neatly trimmed, by Gordon.  The colours this year look amazing and although not particularly cold I definitely have that autumn feel.  The field work has nearly been completed.  We will start overwinter ploughing a couple of fields in preparation for salad onions and spring barley later in the week.  There is some outstanding spraying to be done, weather permitting and then the farm maintenance schedule will begin, this year we're targeting quite a lot of sheep fencing!

I have to start writing a talk that I am giving at the LEAF Presidents Event, in London on the 16th November, all about getting the most out my LEAF Membership LEAF.  A little nervous I have to say but I'm sure it will alright on the night!  After the talk I am attending a series of meetings about becoming a LEAF Demonstration Farm which is very exciting.