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G.M.Hunter Ltd.

Tilbrook Grange

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Winner Best local product


Winner of

Devon Cattle Breeders Herd Competition 2016


June 17

By jameshunter1, Jul 9 2017 08:10PM

Life up on the farm (by James Hunter)

For the third consecutive month it is the weather that has been having the most impact. I hardy need to mention that it was hot with a breeze for a week. It was perfect hay making weather. I started mowing on a Sunday morning and the baler was finished the following Sunday afternoon. The yields were about average but the quality is exceptionally good. So good, that I sold a load to a racehorse trainer in Northumberland. Photo attached. He made the 6 hour journey down, saw it being baled and loaded up his lorry. He is going to store it and will be trying for another winner next spring at Cheltenham! We baled in the heat of the day and had to let the hay temperature drop before stacking in the shed. The highest temperature was 42°C as it left the field!

We have been out shopping again. For a Vantage, not an Aston Martin which has the same model name as a French sprayer. Our current machine is 12 years old, still good but technology moves on. The new one will be 30metres wide with a bigger tank and pump than the old one. It is a trailed model (goes behind a tractor rather than self propelled) It will steer itself and turn the spray on and off by satellites with an accuracy of 100mm (4 inches) It will cover the fields quicker than the old one with less wheeling. It is still relatively basic compared to what the manufactures offer. It will hopefully be made and delivered in time for the autumn spraying. Cost before trade in & discount circa £80 000.

Gavin has had another good month selling breeding bulls. Some have been sold to the West Country and one to Shropshire. This had been a very good season, helped by our coveted award last autumn. I attach a photo of an impressive lorry that turned up to transport one bull to Devon. It could be described as luxury transport. It is a double decker with water drinkers & ventilation. Far better & more space than commuter trains for humans. It was a back load from the West Country; he had brought up a load of about 45 cattle to a local abattoir.

Finally, a news item seen in the Farmers Weekly. There is an annual awards evening for 15 sectors of farming. There are such categories as best Arable Farmer, Sheep Farmer & Beef Farmer. Others more specialised as Specialist crop producer, Farm Manager & best Farm Worker. In the latter section in the shortlist of three is Hugh Sapsed, from Tilbrook! He has always strived to do well. I recall over 30 years ago competing against him in tractor driver of the year at The Royal Show.... He did better about 10 years ago & was awarded best combine driver in the country. This current challenge is far greater. There will be a page in the Farmers Weekly about his submission. The awards are made in October at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in London. It is a collection of the very best in our industry. I am sure you join me in wishing him well. I, as will the wider press, will keep you updated.

No report next month as should be busy harvesting.

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