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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 2,286 total)
Wednesday 15 August 2007 at 16:20 - in reply to: Old caption competition – this one is now closed
Latest compact Ursus tractor criticised on cab comfort and layout.
I must have accidently uploaded quite a few files then to get my picture added!
Hope the planting goes or went well for this. We looked into growing some a while back but were put off by the number of contractors required! There has been quite a bit put in around us, and some looks to be very patchy and uncompetative against the weeds. I was more concerned that a poorly established crop would not meet yield forecasts not only in the early years but through the crops life :(
How is yours doing?
We are just beginning to price up next years cropping. Normally everything is sold, or at least committed in a pool or similar, once it has emerged. Rape has just begun to show, so most will be sold by September for next year.
I am being a bit more cautious - with crazy price swings comes risk of taking a beating if we sell a tonnage a a fixed price and cannot produce the yields. When the downside was only a few pounds, selling a hundred ton or so more than you had was not a problem but this year I am glad I only forward sold 75% of my normal product.
I remember a conference saying that American and Canadian farmers made much more use of 'options' when sellign their crop, and I am thinking of taking this route. If it cost me a tenner a ton for th option to sell at 120 a ton, that sounds reasonable sense. Anyone else use these? What is your experience an did you buy them from your merchant or elsewere.
Nobody replied to my post about drilling hybrid rape. Anyhow, I cracked on and got 180ac of Excalibur drilled by 20th August. It was too wet really to start by by the end of the second day was almost too dry to keep going. Blasted weather. Still, emergence has been ok, with plants with 4+ true leaves and about 3 to 4 inches of root. Some poor patches have had another 2kg/ha broadcast. I drilled 48 seeds /m and reckon about 80% must be up by now. OK sicne we have had no rain since.
Dont want a downpour as I reckon there are a lot of slugs deep down ready to come for a feast. Ground is now too hard to drill wheat. Also my wife has just had a baby so maybe quarter of an inch Thursday and another quarter on Sunday would be good as I could have a day off to catch up on the housework!
No - last year was worse in OSR. So far, this years rape has only had a handful of pellets and now it is so large I am not overly worried.
Have given the wheat following rape a 2/3 rate of decent long lasting pellets, hoping that the number of times I went over the stubbles with the discs and press will have got a few. Land was so dry that no volunteer rape germinated (or not much anyhow). Now we have rain the field is green with tiny rapes and I will be watching to see if any slugs start munching.
Always used to think that the longer peas went on a lorry, the more small bits of soil and admix settled to the bottom to be sucked up by the sampling spear. But then that was just another part in the 'dry pea cartel ripofff' that makes growing them so unattractive.
Good news that their meat is UK sourced. I agree this should be shown more in marketing and packing.
Dont know how feasable it would be, but how about some premium regional burgers? Didnt BK do an angus burger? Why not have a Lincolnshire Red burger or something like that?
Oh, and could they sort of my main gripe, that is how different the 'product' looks when you get it from how it is advertised? It cant be the most complex thing to assemble a burger without it falling over in the packaging and getting mangled.
Local magistrates should sentence minor offendors to a week of pulling it out. It would be a community service in rural areas, and would seem apt for people who do minor misdemeanors like littering, fly-tipping, grafitti or other crimes that make a mess of their environment.#918321
Wednesday 17 October 2007 at 11:05 - in reply to: Is farming really the most ‘hopeless’ job in Britain today?
As a young farmer who will probably spentd a long time paying for his block of bare land, I can see a lot of dispair. No chance of the housing ladder for me, and I get to spend a lot of time watching my vastly less qualified friends make a heap of money in easy public sector jobs.
Fact is I chose to do what I do and I enjoy it. Countyside, nature, fresh air, long life, low chance of obesity too with the shovelling I do in the shed.
I guess it is easy to look at farming from a London media viewpoint - the bank takes about a third of what I turn over, and I am hardly likely to retire at 50 and spend my days playing golf and going to wine tastings.
At the end of the day, there are still careers I would consider more hopeless, using the same narrow minded criteria in the same way (no personal experience of them). Surely being a fisherman must be more regulated, worse hours and conditions and subject to even more crazy red tape? And they also tend to die a lot, which is not high on my list of job satisfaction.
We have an old '99 Cat 55 which has about 275 hp. This is plenty for us working heavy clay land. A neighbour has the same but a newer model and manages 6 furrows on the land quite adequatly.
Have had lots of problems recently with solenoid switches.
Wether buying new or old, make sure it has the full service scheme. Also get wide running gear irrespective of what track width chosen.
I dont like turning over nice friable earth and replacing it with wet clay, then burning gallons of fuel to smash it down. I much prefer a subsoiler and some kind weather to do it for me.
Sorry for delay in replying - was drilled after a non-inversion regime. One pass with simba mono. One pass at 30 degrees with subsoiler to about 18 inches. Rolled. Drilled then rolled and slug pelleted. In 4 days managed to get 200 acres done just in time for the wheat to dry again. Previous crop was wheat and the straw was chopped & spread. I only plough the light land and this certinaly isnt that!
I have some nice pics but havent got a 'blog' yet to put them on. Got a population of maybe 35 plants per metre and I expect to have 25 left by February. Many are enormous - over 2 foot accross - and have smothered everything else out so probably wont have to use any kerb. Even now we are getting new plants germinating. Varitey is Excalibur, as we tried 30 acres last year and it was great.
I think a lot is down to situation. For me, ploughing after wheat for rape is a non-start. Seedbed would be too dry. No chance for a weed kill with Roundup. Also I can cover a ot of ground quite quickly. Also avoid bringing up any old weeds - some of th land I am on has not been ploughed for 8 or so years, and with a bit of roguing I am well on top of grass weeds. Soil now in great condition and loads of earthworms about.
Disadvantages are quite a lot of trash as I dont bale straw. This can lead to slug damage, but I reckon a healthy and rapidly growing hybrid plant established early will grow away from most damage with one application of pellets. Kit is reasonbly cheap. I reckon for the price I was quoted for a new plough you can get an old Simba mono like mine, and a good subsoiler, providing you have the horsepower to pull it.
Oh, also relativly inexperienced farmers like me can make a right balls up job with a plough.
I'll let you all know this time next year how our non-plough sugarbeet goes!
It will be interesting to see what the lack of chemistry does to acreages of barley and pulses. No simazine or cyanazine means an added cost in spring pulses for me, let alone getting rid of ketlets in rape. No IPU means no barley.
For me, biggest problem will be fuel. If the kit was availiable near me for a demo, I would be trying direct drilling of cereals as it would suit my land. In the short term, the commodity prices still make the fuel and inputs worth it for a bumper crop. You can put rape and beans in with a subsoiler if you have to, but at the moment it still pays to do a 'proper job'. Would I be happy to reduce establshment costs this far, and accept patchy fields? Not at the moment, but it is surly the future.
I view fertiliser constraints as a good thing actually. It would mean the end of wheat/rape rotations with all the residue baled, which makes my blood boil. Prices of P & K will mean it all has to be incorporated, and would mean more use of boiosolids and basic slag etc - which is great recycling.
At the end of the day, I will respond to prices, but if yields are down, land prices up, more land fallow for weed control and no diesel, then prices better be well up!
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 2,286 total)