Patrick Godwin is farm
manager for the 930ha
(2300 acre) Lee Farm
Estate, West Sussex. Soils
are chalk-based with
combinable winter and
spring crops occupying
525ha (1300 acres)
AFTER a week of dry and warm weather we had cut just over 85% of this years 240ha (593 acres) of arable crops by last weekend.
Consort has been disappointing at 7.5t/ha (3t/acre) with a very indifferent sample. We have yet to venture into the Savannah and Tanker but I do not expect much from those either. The Optic spring barley came off at just over 5t/ha (2t/acre) but again the samples were poor with high screening losses. I am sure that the lack of sunshine in June and July is the culprit for our disappointing results.
One of the best samples so far has come from organic conversion Paragon spring wheat. Yielding 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre) it gave a bright and bold berry. Slightly later development of the crop means it may have caught some of the better weather in July.
Another weeks combining should see the bulk of the wheats off. Stubble turnips are sown and rolled and ewes are grazing organic conversion stubbles before flushing on undersown white clover leys.
With only a few weeks to go before Sept 22s Liberty and Livelihood march it is time to canvass support from those waverers who cannot decide whether to attend or not. We have several souls booked on our coach who are not country people but who are keen to support our way of life. They feel that this is a free country and the government should not be able to ride rough shod over a minority simply to curry support, and perhaps finance, from pressure groups.
The other day I read that the RSPCA has offered to rehouse the 20,000 hounds which would become redundant should hunting be banned. Since last year they themselves have had to put to sleep many unwanted dogs, hence I find this offer somewhat fatuous and disingenuous. Trying to find long-term homes for this number of essentially pack animals will not only cause great distress to the hounds but could contribute significantly to the divorce rate among the country community! *