Farming in the Blackmore Vale

Voice of a Farmer | July 2021

After an extremely wet May, June finally settled down to a spell of some warm dry weather. We were able to finish silage making in good conditions and with all the grass silage clamps  ending up being full.

Most of our arable crops look in a much better state than they did during april and may, which hopefully will lead to a good harvest. One of our crops that has struggled has been our forage maize which doesn’t like cold wet conditions. With some warm sunshine maize has an incredible ability to catch up on its growth stages .The saying is knee high by the 4th of July , may be this year for a shorter person !

haymaking the 1960’s 

I have been watching with interest the Jeremy Clarkson’s series about his first year in farming . It was refreshing to watch showing all the good and bad things that happen on a farm. We know that 2019 was a bad year to start with floods in the autunm ,a drought in the following spring and various other disasters on the way.Much of his practical advice came from a twenty one year old lad who had been born and bred into farming  who able guide Jeremy through the reality of using various bits of farming equipment. Although the financial reward may not have been there, Jeremy did admit it had been one of his most enjoyable years of his life . I wonder if there will be a second series ?  I think the series will have given viewers a great incite as to what farmers go through in a course of a year.

At home we have just completed our audit from our milk buyer cooperative Arla. A Vet  spent nearly a whole day looking at all our cattle checking the wellbeing of them. Luckily the audit took place on a warm sunny day with the majority of the cattle out grazing enjoying the summer’s day.Also the Vet checked our record keeping of any health issues arising and any necessary treatments that were involved. Arla  are also interested in the wider aspect of the farm. The general appearance is considered along with the wellbeing of our Staff  and  their welfare taking into consideration their housing and the general environment they work in. Also consideration is made into how we are looking after the environment and the wildlife within .Being a mixed farm we are able create a variety of wild life habitats  such as beetle banks , wildbird areas and pollen and nectar strips in fields.Generally the Vet was complimentary to what we were doing . We have also put up cow  brushes so that the cows can have a good scratch if they want to !

Haymaking 2020

The main reason for doing all of this is that Arla can then say to its customers  that the milk has been produced to a high standard with not only the cows wellbeing taken into accout but also the general running of the farm. This standard can be challenging at times !

By: James Cossins

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