EMMA FOOT | FARM UPDATE
Hello, I hope you're all well. Since I wrote my last blog we’ve had quite a lot of rain, I was beginning to think we were going to have a repeat of last year. I think by the looks of it we have been rather lucky in Dorset, we’ve now had more than enough rain for what we require, sunshine is what we need now to fill up the grains, as most of the crops are flowing now. The crops are still standing thankfully and hopefully they continue to stand as last harvest was a struggle.
I’ve been out pulling some blackgrass and grass brome but I suffer really badly with hayfever, and so after a while of rouging I start to struggle to see as my eyes puff up, I’ve tried various medication but haven’t found anything that works for me yet. My cousin has recently bought some honeybees so has several hives on the farm, as they do say local honey helps, but I shall see.
At the beginning of June, Jack and I went to The royal Bath and West show, it's quite a large country show that is spread over 4 days, each year they have 4500 livestock at the event. There’s something for everyone from vintage tractors, the Dorset axeman performing and lots of food samples and shopping, they also use our straw for the livestock at the show.
Over about 5 years we have accumulated a lot of scrap metal, we had just over 5 tonnes in total so we got a lorry to come in, drop off the skip then we loaded it and they collected it the next day, the yard looks so much tidier now I hadn’t realised how untidy it was and how much space we’ve gained so good to have a clear out and get a bit of money too!
I decided not to continue my membership with young farmers this year as my friend group are a bit older so they don’t fit in the age band, so I decided to join the discussion club, it’s a group for all ages which a few of my friends are members of. At the end of the year
Its that time of year to start thinking about new varieties, so I’ve been to quite a few meetings held by different agronomy supplier groups and seed suppliers, a group of us look around the variety trials in the fields that show the difference between treated and untreated of around 10 varieties of each type of crop. Its really interesting to see the differences, I think we’ve decided from the trials we will stick with two of our current wheat varieties but possibly get the new variety – kinetic, it is the highest yielding group 4 wheat with OWBM (orange wheat blossom midge ) resistance, we’ve struggled with OWBM a few times before so do like to find a variety that is resistant so we don’t need to spray.
Below is a picture of the group and different varieties of wheat
In mid June we were invited to our local grain buyers to have a look at their grain storage and dryers, followed by a hog roast and Purbeck ice cream. The evening was very relaxed and had a self-tour of the corn stores; seed breeders were there with stands, and competitions and advertising new and existing varieties. Dad and I entered the raffle and I won a bag of grass seed and Dad won a pair of John Deere overalls so both very surprised to win.
Jack and I were sat down enjoying our tea one Sunday evening and heard a commotion outside, so we looked out the window and witnessed a stoat catch a rabbit and take it into our garden hedge. We hadn’t seen a stoat on the garden for at least a year so guessed they had moved on but obviously not.
The last of the oats went on for milling in Bedfordshire , it was only a part load so didn’t get a great price but it was still better than a feed price.
We have also done some fencing with the post driver on the JCB digger; it certainly makes fencing more enjoyable as we previously did everything by hand.
We were invited to a hunt farmers party, the local hunt invite us along once a year to say thank you for allowing them to hunt on the land, we were treated to drinks and a hog roast.
We finally have finished off our Airbnb, there seemed to be one problem after the other in the lodge, with leaks and electric problems but all is sorted now thankfully. I’m very fortunate that my dad and Darren (our workman) have many talents and could help me with a lot of things in there to help cut costs. I’ve put in a link below if you would like to have a look or even fancy a holiday in Dorset.
I would like to think next time I write my blog we will be well into harvest, just hoping for some hot sunny weather now!
Thank you for taking the time to have a read