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EMMA FOOT | January Recap

A busy January for Emma Foot on her Dorset farm. Catch up with the latest here.
Well this month has gone so quickly, and what a stunning first day of the month.
We have had another 5 inches of rain this month, looking back at the farm records I discovered that from the 1st Feb 2018 to the 1st Feb 2019 was just half the rainfall we have had from the 1st Feb 2019 to the first of Feb 2020. Just showing the contrast from the drought last year which did have a wet start but an exceptionally wet autumn/winter this last 12 months. The only good thing is we must be getting closer to some better weather, although we have had quite a bit of rain this month, we have had some drying days and milder weather, and the crops are beginning to grow a bit now and some people locally have managed to get a bit more winter wheat drilled.
The picture of the river stour with myself and Bill beside the meadow shows just how much rain we have had; the river is up above the fence, when the river drops we will have to repair the fence and clear the drift wood away. In the past we have had boats caught up down there.
River stour
This month we have had the seed cleaners out dressing the spring barley ready for when or if it dries up, so I'm really looking forward to getting back in my tractor as usually too I'm hauling chicken muck this time of year but unfortunately due to demand we have been able to for the spring crops, so I'm hoping we can start to get some in June for our winter crops as its much cheaper than buying in artificial fertiliser, and puts organic matter into the ground.
All of the fertilser has arrived now ready to apply some next month (if the ground ever dries up), the crops could really do with some nitrogen having a hard start in growing and now its vital to help the crop along as its had enough water and requires some food now.
Fertiliser Emma Foot's farm
There are not many oilseed rape crops about this year around us, in the next couple months it will come to light which crops will make it to harvest and which will fail due to flea beetle damage, the picture shows a flea beetle lave on my nail, the lava burrow into the oilseed rape plant and this provides the growing lava with a source of food, as the larva gets bigger it eats the plant faster and a crop that looks ok can begin to shrink in size as there are so many larva in each plant eating it from the inside out. Time will tell.
Flea beetle
The weather for the coming week looks reasonable, we hope we may be able to drill some spring barley onto some of our lighter faster drying land, hopefully getting this drilled early will make the best use of the moisture to get the crop established and off to a good start, giving time for the roots to develop which is important as if it does turn hot and dry a later drilled poorly established crop would struggle and a struggling crop will produce a poor yield. I will update you next time on whether the weather has played in our favour.
At the end of January Dad and I having looked at the forecast decided to book a last minute holiday, for 3 nights in Tenerife, it was so nice to get away and just relax, I find if I have a day off at home I just cant relax as I know there's something that always needs to be done. Of course I took my cap I got from Hollands! Its my favourite hat with the elastic at the back too, I've got a tiny head (I have to wear a childs helmet skiing) so the elastic really helps!
Emma Foot in Tenerife
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Emma x
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