The farming and smallholding thread

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
We sold some stuff and thought about something around the border, with a bit of room in the house.

Flatbed quad for a runabout, somewhere and things to shoot at.

Dear God, flat, wet, cold, miserable, swampy and nothing reasonable within doable distance of a bar or hotel, which didn’t look like it had been inhabited by friars or priests who had a career terrifying children and mentally unstable adults.

I think we’ll squander it on decent hotel rooms. I’m too old to go running about in wellies I’ve never liked boats. And the thought of running a B&B and feeding ungrateful arseholes at the crack of dawn I find appalling.

I have to say once we’d seen our fourth ‘needs a bit of modernisation’, the dame caught herself on and realised it was a bloody stupid idea.
So we bought a share in her sisters place, somewhere warm and interesting. I feel drier and more rested already.
 
Haven’t seen the fall figures yet, but by May-June our soybean exports to China had dropped over 90%, they hate Canada almost as much they do the septics and are making things difficult.
Huawei is that?
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It's a truly satisfying feeling when you've mucked out stables and turned them into something a horse will be coView attachment 436382mfy and happy in.
The wife has just announced that we’re getting another equine.

We have 4 stables. 2 currently have horses in, 1 is full of hay and the last one has been my general dumping ground for half empty tins of paint and random tools etc.

Spent the morning clearing it out and we’re nearly ready to go.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Frozen morning.
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These frosts are good for breaking up soil though, and killing off a lot of bugs and fungi. A lot of plants do much better when there's been a hard winter. Fuckall in the way of frosts down here in Sussex, but winter's only just got started. The autumn we had though, that was the rainiest I've known for many years, farmers couldn't get on to their fields and seed has rotted in the swamped soil.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
These frosts are good for breaking up soil though, and killing off a lot of bugs and fungi. A lot of plants do much better when there's been a hard winter. Fuckall in the way of frosts down here in Sussex, but winter's only just got started. The autumn we had though, that was the rainiest I've known for many years, farmers couldn't get on to their fields and seed has rotted in the swamped soil.
So far it’s been one of the mildest winters I can remember.

This is only the second or third morning since October that it’s been this cold.

Usually it’s like this every morning. Even in summer.
 
Our normal bTB test takes place in the summer, but because of a TB breakdown locally we had to have a contiguous test this week. Thankfully we passed, I was surprised because we are absolutely overrun with badgers, so much so that when some quango came to do a badger survey (to do with the A303 tunnel) it took them a week longer than they expected.
Another plus is that 7 of the 9 cows are in calf, and thanks to the clear test we will have 17 cows and heifers for the bull in June.
 
From Pravda (Gov. UK), gives some idea of how farming is going to be supported/ subsidised post Brexit.
Move from Direct Payments and shift towards payment for air water and soil quality.
Also lots of lovely data collection from all points in the supply chain.

 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The past two weekends we’ve been hit with Storm Ciara and now Storm Dennis. All the goats are indoors and the cattle are on good high ground, but the sheep haven’t been living the dream to be honest.

It’s only really just dried out enough to move them now.

They’re all pregnant so we don’t want to stress them out too much.

We also lost part of the barn roof. Just blew away.
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Augustus

Old-Salt
The past two weekends we’ve been hit with Storm Ciara and now Storm Dennis. All the goats are indoors and the cattle are on good high ground, but the sheep haven’t been living the dream to be honest.

It’s only really just dried out enough to move them now.

They’re all pregnant so we don’t want to stress them out too much.

We also lost part of the barn roof. Just blew away.
Don’t worry about the barn roof, someone will be along from Appleby shortly to sell it back to you......
 

Tool

LE
Don’t worry about the barn roof, someone will be along from Appleby shortly to sell it back to you......
I'm presuming that the barn in image 1 is the same as in image 3, sans top?

Is there a risk of hoof rot with all of that water around?
 

9.414

Old-Salt
I’ve often wondered why some sheep have pink/orange/browny hairdos.
I thought it meant they’d completed hadj or something!
lifelong mystery now cleared up-cheers!
At a fancy dress function one of my country oriented chaps turned a sheepskin coat inside out, wore it back to front and wore a tupping harness [the thing with the dye pad on the ram's chest] to complete his outfit. He said it produced some interesting "conversations" as he chatted up the city girls and was asked to explain his rig ;)
 

9.414

Old-Salt
A mate of mine has 3,000 acres of Suffolk arable.

His most productive land?

The quarter of an acre next to the A14 that he rents out to mobile phone companies to have their masts on!
That is going to change. The new rules are all in favour of the telco's and rents are reducing.
 

sand_rat

Old-Salt
A mate of mine has 3,000 acres of Suffolk arable.

His most productive land?

The quarter of an acre next to the A14 that he rents out to mobile phone companies to have their masts on!
For now under the Digital Economy Act 1997 they no longer have to pay a commercial rent but only 'the loss to the Landlord', hes in for a shock at the next renewal. One i know or (next to the M6 Stafford way went from circa £4500pa to £23.60 for TEN years, ie £2.36 pa.

Get your mate to speak to his land agent sharpish.
 
It's bloody wet here, even on the chalk downland, the list of things not completed/started due to the weather is growing, but by all the gods and little fishes we have nothing to whinge about compared to some poor folk up country.
Winter wheat looks well, OSR doesn't, and indeed about 20 acres (of 150) has been lost to Flea Beetle. I won't be growing it again as without the neonic seed treatment it is frankly impossible west of Norfolk. It seems I am not alone as the UK OSR area has dropped 9% and yield 15%. To make up the c.500,000 ton shortfall the UK will import from, among others, Ukraine, who use, yes, neonics. So much for a level playing field, how come Ukrainian bees are immune to neoniconotids ? Or was the science behind the EU ban rubbish?
One shouldn't be surprised by this undermining of British agriculture, given the PMs enthusiasm for Ugandan beef to be imported, along with Brazilian, exactly how closely they adhere to Red Tractor or ACCS standards , or indeed the HSAWA I couldn't possibly imagine.
As a result of this the rotation will change from winter wheat - spring barley - OSR, to something like winter wheat - winter wheat - spring barley - spring oats - beans. The land should be more than able to grow successive wheats as the organic matter levels are very good: 7 and above. I will also split a couple of the bigger (30 ha) fields to accommodate the longer rotation, so more hedge planting next winter, or maybe not, I'm toying with the idea of using fruit trees as field boundaries, perhaps another income stream for the future.
No more pigs in the garden! I have at last cleared about 500 tons of rubble and concrete that was tipped in a wood about 30 years ago, and have created a space of about an acre, maybe acre and a half full of beech trees and elder so more pigs than we could have before, an area for meat chickens as well. Get the admin side done with Environmental Health and we are good to go. These little things on their own might not amount to much, but, combined with the cattle, and possibly guided walks, will hopefully in the future prove valuable and viable.
One last thing. An ancient sheep drove runs through the farm, it's a Byway Open to All Traffic in spite of its historic significance. Why do the "One Life Live It" mongs and their motor biking mates insist on tracking up and down it all winter ? I've got about a thousand metres of fencing to do adjacent to the drove but have not gone near it for fear of ruining it yet these idiots, with super aggressive tyres (not just General Grabbers) seem to like nothing more than turning it into a quagmire.
 
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