Emma Foot | October
Well what a busy month, we’ve been trying to move forward with Dads building work on the farm, Dads getting a bit fed up of living in the office and with a tiny oven which I don’t blame him. So this was the patio area before, with patio slabs that my Dad and Darren had handmade and laid. It all had to be broken up with the digger as the level was too high and caused flooding in the past along with drainage from the office not working correctly and causing a foul smell, so that had to be corrected by ourselves, the old pipe was a clay one that had shattered so we replaced it with a plastic one.
This is the patio area now, well part of it, its still yet to be completed it’s just been time and weather permitting.
Well it’s certainly been wet, we’ve had over 100mm of rain this month and it’s only the 6th of October. So I’m beginning to worry like many other farmers I assume it’ll be a repeat of last year.
Dad and I were in the yard doing some bits and saw this amazing light, so we quickly ran up to the other side of the yard to admire and take some photographs of this stunning double rainbow, I’ve not seen one so bright and beautiful before.
Our oilseed rape is growing well now (shown below behind myself and the quad) our agronomist is very happy with its progress, I put some slug pellets on and some fertiliser to give the rape a boost, which it needed as looks much more of a crop now as the slugs took a fair hammering on the crop.
As we can’t spread chicken muck from the 1st of October till end of January on our soils, we applied it in August and September and cultivated it straight in then drilled and rolled it afterwards. We are getting along with our Horsch Terrano cultivator very well, it creates the perfect seedbed in one pass. I’m still hauling muck but we are sheeting it down as that’s what we need to do legally for the storage of chicken manure over winter.
We decided to drill our winter corn in our heavy fields rightly or wrongly, ideally we like to wait to drill them in mid to late October to prevent BYDV (barley yellow dwarf virus) but the forecast didn’t look promising so we thought we best get some drilled as didn’t want another episode of last year, although what we drilled this year so far went into the perfect seedbed. The winter barley we drilled this year is kws Orwell, Graham, and Extase are the varieties we’ve drilled so far.
So Darren was busy on hedge cutting until the hedge cutter went wrong, the part we had ordered we are still waiting for, we’ve been waiting for over a week now so its quite annoying really as we like to cut the hedges before we drill the crops ideally to prevent damage to the crops and prevent compaction to the soils.
Well the evenings are drawing in now, I feel this time of year in particular can impact our mental health more than other seasons I know particularly in farming its easy to bottle things up and not talk to anyone about how you are feeling having more time to think, its easy to overlook your most important assets- your mental wellbeing. From the 10th-16th of October its #agmentalhealthweek, this is a week to help show and promote that there is help out there and although its mental health week please remember at anytime if you need a chat or help then do.
Did you know more farmers die through suicides than farm accidents a year? I heard this statistic on a podcast and I was very surprised to hear this, it doesn’t make you less of a person if you require help, it just makes you stronger.
You may have (or not) heard of the Farming Community Network, if you would like to talk to them they have a confidential, national helpline, open 7am-11pm everyday. They will be more than happy to help you whether your issue is personal or business related.
Yellow wellies is carried out by a small team, based in Startford-upon-Avon, and help with farm safety (I find if you’re in the wrong mind set things are rushed and safety is not put first) Yellow wellies provide support and training.