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Emma Foot's Dorset Farm Update

Well it’s certainly been wet, I hoped that as it had been wet for so long that the weather would have changed by now but unfortunately not. We have drilled most of our winter corn, I had cultivated up one field in front of the drill and unfortunately the tractor on the drill broke down. It kept losing all its power in the field and dad couldn’t pull the drill in the end so got one of the local dealers mechanic out, they are just 5 minutes drive from the farm and the back up is second to none, I think tractor and machinery is just pot luck really they all seem to go wrong! The problem this time was that with all this new re generation business on there it got so clogged up with soot (on older tractors the black smoke will be seen) but with all this ad blue and re-gen there’s more to go wrong and especially in this case, its actually very lucky that we paid for an extra 5 years warranty as the filter system is £4,000! Typically Dad was half way through drilling a field and rain was forecast from 7 pm, I stopped cultivating and hitched my tractor onto the drill, luckily that field got finished in time before the rain although still annoyingly we were not able to get on with more drilling, so still have one field on light ground and 5 more fields on pretty heavy ground but need some consecutive days of dry weather to get onto them, as we’ve had 9 and a half inches in just October.

Emma Foot's farm and tractor

The fields that were drilled have now been slug pelleted as they will just hollow out the seed or eat it just as its emerging and all our fields are covered in slugs, as they have been thriving in these mild and wet conditions. We also weren’t able to roll after the fields were drilled, as its just been too wet as that would have killed a few slugs too, so now its really important to keep a watch out for slugs as it wont take long for them to completely destroy the crops. I’ve put lots of slug traps around to see if it’s worth pelleting again. Obviously we don’t want to put them down if they aren’t there as they are expensive and can get washed away if they aren’t eaten. Unfortunately this year as all our Oilseed rape had failed, we have extra winter crops to put in now and times getting on and the forecast still isn’t looking promising, might be drilling at Christmas at this rate.

On a more positive note we have been fully booked in the lodge despite the awful weather we’ve been experiencing, and people have written some lovely reviews so really glad we decided to do that (so far anyway).

Quad bike on farm

Our cover crops are doing very well and the phacelia is just looking stunning. I love the smell and the stunning colours, the bees love it too! We also had a TB test a few weeks ago and passed thankfully, a neighbour of our holding number had a TB reactor so ours had to be tested too, really hate the unnecessary stress on the animals, but luckily none of ours reacted.

Winter sunset on farmland

As its wet there isn’t too much we can do, so at weekends Jack and I have been climbing up some trees. Below I’m using dads chainsaw on a pole and Jack has been using his standard saw, so between us we can have a good tidy up and get some firewood ready for the next couple of years too.

On Tuesday we have our annual ACCS inspection so I’ve been ensuring all the paperwork is up to scratch and in order ready so hopefully it wont be too long.

limbing trees with chainsaw

Thank you for taking the time to have a read, hope you're all keeping well and dry.


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