By jameshunter1, Jul 22 2018 07:50PM
Life up on the farm (by James Hunter)
I have moaned about the weather in the past but not this month! It has been very kind and crops are growing well. The late drilled spring barley is storming through it’s growth stages. There has been enough rain with warm days & nights. Not too much wind, so we have been able to spray in near perfect conditions. Long may the favourable conditions continue for hay making & then harvest.
During the month all the cattle yards have all been cleaned out. The muck was much deeper in the sheds than normal as the winter was a really long drag. The heaps in the fields will be spread straight after harvest.(picture attached)
Gavin was delighted to be invited to judge the Devon cattle on their home ground at Devon County Show in the middle of the month. There was a strong entry with herds from Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Worcester all competing for the coveted prize of having the best Devon animal at Devon County show. It is a very desirable award to be Champion on the breed’s home ground. The substantial solid silver cups are very old and show the winners for decades and have a combined value over £50 000.
Gavin decided to award the championship to a young bull. The owners were delighted as it was their first time of winning Best in Breed, and they had had a terrible year last year with losing a large percentage of their herd to an outbreak of Bovine TB. (picture attached)
The number of cases nationally is still very disappointing. I copy official figures. • Total animals slaughtered due to a TB incident in England in the 12 months to December 2017 increased 14% on the previous 12 months to 33,238. In Wales the number slaughtered was 10,053, an increase of 1%
Luckily we (Cambridgeshire) are in a low risk area and only have to have to test the whole herd every 4 years. Others in high risk areas have such dreadful statistics, I will not report.
The Basic Payments Scheme forms were all submitted before the deadline to the Rural Payments Agency. We have these for two more years until Brexit’s new scheme is started. We had to submit a further 21 pages as well as the prepopulated forms as their computer removed 6Km of hedges! All are hoping that the RPA do better than last year in processing the forms. The EU fined the UK £230m for poor performance. Minister Michael Grove described the RPA feat “as slow as a snail with arthritis!”
Last week we sold 14 lorry loads of wheat for October delivery. This is a calculated gamble. Firstly we will get it in the store & that the price was a good deal on the day. The reason was simple; the price had risen sharply in the last fortnight. This was caused by various reasons, Argentinean weather, Politics in Korea and President Trump. Currency Euro V £. Further the harvest predictions in Europe & the UK not expecting a large surplus. These days it is global conditions that have drastic influence on the market.
Finally I attach a picture of a trailer made by Ted Tirrell who sadly passed away last month. It was made from a Bedford QL lorry. My father purchased these as surplus war stock. The cab and engine were cut away and a new body built and fitted on the rear chassis. Ted made us three as the old lorries were scrapped when the petrol engines packed up in the 70’s. We still have one on the farm & it is used all winter for cattle feeding.