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EMMA FOOT | Farm Life

Emma Foot's Farm Life Update

Well we are still wishing for rain, the winter barley has pretty much gone past the stage now for fully benefitting from the rain, I would have thought within 4-6 weeks we will start combining the winter barley. A good downpour overnight would do the world of good for the rest of the crops, I see online a few people in northern parts of country the have been getting a lot of rain and hail storms but we seemed to have missed those, no doubt at harvest we will get them.

The crops are looking ok, yields will be down from going in so wet now craving for a drink. We have two fields of peas, one that isn’t looking so good; is in one of the clay cap fields, well  with a year like this none of the crops look good at all on the clay cap due to lack of rain, as when they dry out they go like concrete. It’s annoying it was so wet when we wanted to go drilling, had to try and dry it all out to get the drill in there now we want the moisture. I’m now just worried this rain will arrive too late (harvest) and might not stop. The past couple of weeks have been perfect combining days (windy and sunny so very drying). The dream would be to not dry any of the corn.

The picture below shows the worst of the peas, this is on the clay cap

Emma Foot farm blog

We have been pulling blackgrass, I get terrible hay fever so I cant pull blackgrass for very long, I get to the point my eyes are so puffed up I can hardly see so I prefer roughing on a rainy day. Some patches are too large an area to pull and very often there are smaller plants we miss as we cant see them, so we go around with the knapsacks spraying off patches in fields, we know roughly where the patches are, although I have an app on my phone where we can drop pins on the app to show the exact location of the weedy areas and the agronomist can access this too and drop pins too for us to go to and either rouge or spray off.

Here you can see the pea pods starting to form. Hidden behind them were aphids which had to be sprayed as we had a serious infestation of them, if they weren’t controlled then there could have been a serious yield loss which we certainly cannot afford; especially this year.

Peas in field

I picked some salad from the garden the other day and it was covered in flea beetle (the beetle which ate all of our OSR), I’m now thinking is there really much hope in trying to grow OSR this autumn, I think we are going to have to re think our cropping if they are eating all my salad I cant imagine the OSR will stand a chance, last year we lost a lot of money due to the flea beetle and don’t think we want to risk it again.

As this time of year as quieter we usually attend crop trail meetings but obviously due to coronavirus they have been cancelled so instead our agronomist has sent through some videos and power points which I will watch on a wet evening

From the farm as I was walking the dogs one day I saw clouds of smoke, and found out afterwards someone had a BBQ in Wareham forest and 180 hectares was burnt in total, fire fighters were there putting it out for days as it kept flaring up. Below is a picture I took from the farm when walking the dogs I had no idea where the fire was coming from at that point.

Emma Foot's Dorset Farm

Thank you for taking the time to have a read, I do hope you are well.

Until next time,

Emma x

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