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Emma's New Year Blog

LAmbs Turnips and Brexit - Emma's farm Update

January 2019 blog


Hello, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

With the weather being so dry the ground is ok to drive on. Dad invested in a chainsaw on a 5ft pole – the ends can be changed so very versatile! He got it as we had a few branches over hanging over our fields and over a main road, which we couldn’t quite reach with the loader and man cage so the extra 5ft makes all the difference!

I went to an Agrii meeting at the beginning of the month, which was held at Salisbury racecourse followed by a lovely lunch. The meeting was basically saying about what happens after BREXIT, and as a summary they’ve said funding will be based on environmental schemes rather than producing food, which I think seems a bit backwards having to import food.  

We weighed and condition scored our lambs and found that 15 were fat so thought it was best to take them to market, we then trimmed their feet and sheered their backsides so they were cleaned up ready for market. Unfortunately the last market in Dorset was shut down this month in Shaftsbury, there are rumours its going to now become a Lidl supermarket. It was closed down as it was owned by the council and they were given a offer to sell the land which they accepted.


Lambs on the turnips

 Sheep in a field eating turnips


Condition scoring and trimming up the sheep ready for market

Sheep condition checking


Now that it’s colder we can put the fans on again in the grain store at night to cool the grain, as with the mild weather we were concerned that bugs might start to arrive!

Last weekend we went to Jack's uncle's farm to see his crawlers Ploughing the land. I’ve seen a few old pictures of gran on the pit rolling with the crawler so it was nice to see them in action and have more of an insight as to how it was done. Jacks uncle Jim has 4 crawlers in total; one international btd6 which has been on his farm since new (1950’s) . An Allis- Chalmers that has also been on the farm since new. Tracked fowler, and a tracked county. It makes you appreciate the tractors and machinery of today with cab, air conditioning and heater.


Below is a picture of Jacks uncle Ploughing with his Allis-Chalmers .

 ploughing with alis chamers crawler


On our shallow soils we are allowed to spread muck ( as of the 15th of January) , so I started hauling chicken muck last Friday and we will be spreading this once we’ve sprayed off our cover crops next month, in readiness for spring barley. There’s been a few changes at the chicken farm I haul muck from; its now being leased out by a large company based up in Shropshire. Unfortunately for us they no longer want the feed mill so they will no longer be buying from local farmers which was a good outlet for part lorry loads, and also we also sold a lot of corn there as it was nice with it being used locally.


The Hovis mill at Southampton docks was shut down towards the end of last year. By not having a local mill in the south it will probably be no longer viable to grow milling wheat, due to the added haulage costs.

Bill has been busy being adored by friends, he’s also taken to burying things under cushions on the sofa, which causes amusement when we have friends round .

Christmas seems such a long time ago now, we’ve had some lovely weather on boxing day we went along to the hunt boxing day meet. There’s usually a good turn out, so a good social. There were about 50 horses out so quite impressive to see.

We celebrated new years eve at our friend's house, which they’ve just renovated. On new years day our friends hosted a clay shoot at their farm followed by a cooked meal. We shot clays off their hill fort which was featured in the programme ‘Hunted’ .


Thank you again for reading my blog.


Emma X



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