The farming and smallholding thread

Londo

LE
There's a large field I drive past often and I notice the farmer alternates between spuds and growing grass for turfs .
Must use a strong broad leaf weed killer before the grass is sown . But I do find it interesting .
 

Londo

LE
Question for our farmers out there .
Potato haulms are poisonous . What happens to them when they are cut and disposed of . Can't be used as animal feed and can't be plowed back in .
So what is done with them ?
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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Ah, right. We had a cloudburst in July last year which caused flooding in the village - and in much of the UK. The problem seems to be getting rhe rainfallat the right time, and in the right quantity.

Who can the media blame? :)
Brexit, of course. And Boris.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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Only trouble is when I do get rain then all the local snails and slugs pole-vault over the fence to start noshing on my veggies .
Just cant win these days .
Breed slow worms. Our garden has a small population and very little slug damage. I think the two facts are related...
 
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Breed slow worms. Our garddn has a small population and very little slug damage. I think the two facts are related...

Now that makes a lot of sense.
During lockdown I stayed at my bros and we 'dug for Victory ! '
His compost heap had plenty of slow worms and slug damage to a large variety of salads and veg was minimal.
 

ugly

LE
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In East Anglia and have been promised rain every day for the last four days . Not seen a drop yet .
Similar here in East Sussex, only arriving in short spells long behind the forecast but hopefully enough for the cover crop
If the cover crop fails we will be in trouble as the farm has beans in everywhere else bar pasture and the birds will use that instead meaning more dogging in or different drives!
 

TractorStats

War Hero
Question for our farmers out there .
Potato haulms are poisonous . What happens to them when they are cut and disposed of . Can't be used as animal feed and can't be plowed back in .
So what is done with them ?
My father grew potatoes on contract for a well known frozen chip manufacturer. Its a massively industrial operation.

Farmers used to spray with sulphuric acid to kill the canopy (haulm) before harvest that really destroys the foliage but not now. A little research now suggests they spray with a contact herbicide like diquat for the initial defoliation then flail cut, then spray with a final application of another herbicide. Then they harvest and plough in the remaining detritus ready for the next crop.

In fact, my father's operation was more extreme than that in winter when they sometimes used caterpillar tractors in tandem towing the wheeled tractors to keep harvester ground speeds up and the chip fryers in the factory operating at full capacity. Then use bulldozers to fill in the wheel ruts. There really wasn't much surface vegetable matter left after all that.
 

Londo

LE
My father grew potatoes on contract for a well known frozen chip manufacturer. Its a massively industrial operation.

Farmers used to spray with sulphuric acid to kill the canopy (haulm) before harvest that really destroys the foliage but not now. A little research now suggests they spray with a contact herbicide like diquat for the initial defoliation then flail cut, then spray with a final application of another herbicide. Then they harvest and plough in the remaining detritus ready for the next crop.

In fact, my father's operation was more extreme than that in winter when they sometimes used caterpillar tractors in tandem towing the wheeled tractors to keep harvester ground speeds up and the chip fryers in the factory operating at full capacity. Then use bulldozers to fill in the wheel ruts. There really wasn't much surface vegetable matter left after all that.
I wondered if it was something like that but wasn't sure . Thanks for the info .
 
My father grew potatoes on contract for a well known frozen chip manufacturer. Its a massively industrial operation.

Farmers used to spray with sulphuric acid to kill the canopy (haulm) before harvest that really destroys the foliage but not now. A little research now suggests they spray with a contact herbicide like diquat for the initial defoliation then flail cut, then spray with a final application of another herbicide. Then they harvest and plough in the remaining detritus ready for the next crop.

In fact, my father's operation was more extreme than that in winter when they sometimes used caterpillar tractors in tandem towing the wheeled tractors to keep harvester ground speeds up and the chip fryers in the factory operating at full capacity. Then use bulldozers to fill in the wheel ruts. There really wasn't much surface vegetable matter left after all that.
I would've thought acid was cheaper than herbicide & easier to break down. Interesting though, I didn't know haulms were poisonous to that extent.

Meanwhile, another study on reducing fertiliser use.
 

Londo

LE
I would've thought acid was cheaper than herbicide & easier to break down. Interesting though, I didn't know haulms were poisonous to that extent.

Meanwhile, another study on reducing fertiliser use.
Cheaper but banned some time ago and even diquat is banned now in favour of something less harmful . I was reading up on this last night but just can't remember what they do recommend .
The haulms are dangerous in large quantities but the herbicide breaks down the poison quite well although you have to leave harvesting the spuds for about 10 days .

Rhubarb leaves are also poisonous so best not but in your own compost bin .
 
Cheaper but banned some time ago and even diquat is banned now in favour of something less harmful . I was reading up on this last night but just can't remember what they do recommend .
The haulms are dangerous in large quantities but the herbicide breaks down the poison quite well although you have to leave harvesting the spuds for about 10 days .

Rhubarb leaves are also poisonous so best not but in your own compost bin .
Cheers guv!
I've got an urge to have a wee chomp on a rhubarb leaf, just to see what it tastes like.
(it's normal for rhubarb patches to smell of sulphur & emit purple smoke, no?)
 

TractorStats

War Hero
Cheaper but banned some time ago and even diquat is banned now in favour of something less harmful . I was reading up on this last night but just can't remember what they do recommend .
The haulms are dangerous in large quantities but the herbicide breaks down the poison quite well although you have to leave harvesting the spuds for about 10 days .

Rhubarb leaves are also poisonous so best not but in your own compost bin .
Yes agree with you on the sulphuric acid and diquat was banned quite recently as well just as we were leaving the EU but strangely some EU countries got derogations.

The big problem with potato haulms in gardens is not so much the leaves but really its the fruits that look like green tomatoes which children sometimes eat for that reason and they are quite poisonous. I still remember my mother sternly telling me as a young child never to eat them.
 

Londo

LE
Cheers guv!
I've got an urge to have a wee chomp on a rhubarb leaf, just to see what it tastes like.
(it's normal for rhubarb patches to smell of sulphur & emit purple smoke, no?)
Enjoy :D:D:D:eek:
 

Londo

LE
Yes agree with you on the sulphuric acid and diquat was banned quite recently as well just as we were leaving the EU but strangely some EU countries got derogations.

The big problem with potato haulms in gardens is not so much the leaves but really its the fruits that look like green tomatoes which children sometimes eat for that reason and they are quite poisonous. I still remember my mother sternly telling me as a young child never to eat them.
I've had to point that out to people who didn't know what they were .
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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Yes agree with you on the sulphuric acid and diquat was banned quite recently as well just as we were leaving the EU but strangely some EU countries got derogations.

The big problem with potato haulms in gardens is not so much the leaves but really its the fruits that look like green tomatoes which children sometimes eat for that reason and they are quite poisonous. I still remember my mother sternly telling me as a young child never to eat them.
Also, blight. I get the haulms away to the tip and don't compost them.

I did read that rhubarb leaves are ok to compost, as the amound of poisonous acid in them isn't enough to do harm when composted with all the other stuff we put in.

But then Mr. GRB covered the crowns with soil because the level was lower than the other half of the bed, and there's no rhubarb for us this year... you just can't get the staff!
 

TractorStats

War Hero
Also, blight. I get the haulms away to the tip and don't compost them.

I did read that rhubarb leaves are ok to compost, as the amound of poisonous acid in them isn't enough to do harm when composted with all the other stuff we put in.

But then Mr. GRB covered the crowns with soil because the level was lower than the other half of the bed, and there's no rhubarb for us this year... you just can't get the staff!
Did he kill them then? That's quite hard to do with rhubarb.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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ugly

LE
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Easy if you bury the crowns!
Best thing that happens to rhubarb is killing it
Just returned from having a lunchtime drive around, the beans and chest high in places and the grain is just days off being ready, even the cover crop seems to have taken despite palumba’s best efforts to gorge!
I’m hoping the harvesting starts before our birds arrive so they don’t use the magnificent crops as cover to disperse.
 

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