News from the field - June 2018
Well, this year’s crops have certainly had a different start than last year’s but, as always, nature has sorted everything out.
The cereal and oilseed rape have moved through the growth stages rapidly meaning we are now back on track. Mel and I have been chasing our tails to keep up with all the work required in the fields as quicker growing crops mean quicker growing weeds too! Unbelievably, the wet, wet start to the year now means we are hoping for a bit more rain to moisten the dry ground and fill the grain out. This is because planting crops in a wet seed bed means the plants don’t put down deep roots, as they’ve no need to look for water. This makes them much more prone to being affected by drought as soon as the fields dry up so, ideally, you always want to drill crops into dry ground in the autumn.
The sheep will soon be sheared, bringing relief to them in this lovely weather and relief to us as we no longer have to worry about the risk of blowfly. Blowfly is when parasitic flies lay eggs on sheep wool and then the eggs hatch out into maggots that bury themselves in the sheep's wool and into the sheep's skin. They can make a sheep very poorly and it can be fatal. We do treat them with a pour on solution to discourage flies but the newer products that we are now allowed to use don’t work as well as the old ones!
In the parkland we have been repairing the fences ready for one of our tenant farmers who is going to graze his suckler herd on the grass there. Look out for the new arrivals soon! At the top of Park Lane we have also been trimming the verges to tidy the entrance up, improve visibility and most importantly remove the long grass that the fly tippers seem to love to make use of. Hopefully it will also make the Methley Wombles job easier when they are litter picking.
In the woodlands, the weather pattern seems to have brought out the best in the wild flowers and we have seen some truly beautiful displays of bluebells and other spring flowers this year. It certainly makes working in the countryside a real pleasure… perhaps it is the countryside’s way of apologising for the awful winter!