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EMMA FOOT | April Catch Up

Posted on April 08 2020

Well we can’t pretend its not a strange time, I hope you are all keeping safe and well at this unpredictable time.
Everything is exactly the same for me within my daily routine, I feel very fortunate at this time as  I have a friend who supplies to a hotel so he is having to throw all his milk away and I know this must be happening to others too. I’m really praying this is all over soon.
On a more positive note- it’s finally dried up enough to get on with drilling, we’ve now finished drilling the spring barley and peas. Prior to drilling we spread chicken muck onto the spring barley fields before incorporating it in by cultivating in at a shallow depth, then I cultivated the second time deeper before drilling to give the correct depth for drilling and the seeds having a good seed a good root structure. Malting barley prices are going right down (feed is currently worth more than malting) with pubs closed there is less demand, although the spring barley might not come up as I don’t see any rain forecast for the next three weeks at least.
Jack, my partner, is super busy at the moment everyone wants slurry and digestate spread before drilling maize. He’s been leaving the house at 5:30am and not getting home till gone 11pm, 7 days a week. I know he’s got a lot of catching up to do after it being too wet for so long.

Emma Foot farm machinery

Emma Foot farming

A few months back we sent off samples from our fields to create a fertiliser plan, our P and K indices were 2’s and some 3’s so the 2’s required a maintenance dose. I’ve applied most of the fertiliser on all of our growing crops (I put the N on little and often) fertiliser isn’t required on the fields going into peas as peas are a nitrogen fixing crop- thus produce their own Nitrogen.  We haven’t grown peas on the farm since when I was young, but we are giving them ago again this year as with all the oilseed rape failing due to flea beetle we need a break crop in the rotation to prevent diseases being passed from crops.

Dorset farming

Here below is a picture of me ring rolling in the spring barley, we ring roll and flat roll the crops (depending on how heavy the ground is and if rain is forecast) we would rather flat roll to help kill slugs and pack down stones. We have quite a lot of flints on the farm so one of those going through the combine would not be good.  A few weeks ago I flat rolled all of our winter crops- we generally flat roll the winter crops in the spring if its dry enough to help the plants tiller out. As 2019 winter was so wet we couldn’t roll it as it would have done more harm than good (compacting the ground) and the crops would look worse than they do now.

Emma Foot Dorset farm

I know I am never happy with the weather, I do love the sun but 15mm of rain over night would be perfect to get the spring crops off to the very best start, our ground has gone to dust. The picture below my Dad took with his drone of Darren our workman driving the John deere rolling after the drill and myself in the Fendt and drill.

Farming in Dorset

So all of our huge flock (grand total of 7 ewes) had 13 lambs this lamb below was an escapee unfortunately for me they can outrun me now so was a bit of a challenge to catch this one, so I held on tight one I had caught him haha!

Emma Foot with new lamb

Thank you for taking the time to have a read.
Stay safe,
Best- Emma

1 comment

  • James: April 16, 2020

    Good pictures we finished drilling today now want rain not much in forecast
    James

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