Farmer Focus: Extra spring crops limits storage space

As harvest approaches, we have the tricky problem of working out where we are going to store our crops. Sadly, it’s not a problem because of anticipated large yields, but simply down to having so many crops that need to be kept separate.

Because we failed to get much winter wheat drilled, we opted for some extra spring crops like linseed and rye, to add to millet, beans, barley and borage.

See also: Fermenting organic matter better for soil health than composting

I think we have sorted a plan without having to resort to temporary partition walls made out of big bags of fertiliser and corrugated tin.

These concoctions, although cheap, are always disastrous and messy when it comes to emptying the store.

Another pre-harvest task is checking trailers. This year, we are trying out a free app to record checks and document compliance. I love having a device in my pocket in the form of a smartphone that we can use for things like this, and for field-area measuring, looking up tyre pressures etc.

One of the best apps is the location app what3words, which I used successfully to get Essex police swiftly to the scene of some hare coursing recently. The police seem serious about apprehending these criminals and I firmly believe that we have our part to play. It must be a partnership between us and the police.

We are collecting our first lambs in boxes from the butcher this week for delivery to locals, who have responded to Hew’s advert on the fence beside our Exlana sheep.

I must admit that I had my reservations about this, I feared that there may be some backlash on the local Facebook page from some more sensitive souls who enjoyed seeing the lambs in the fields but didn’t like to think of them ending up in their freezer.

I am pleased to say that we have received only positive feedback and plenty of orders. One order is from Ian from our neighbouring vineyard, we are doing a wine-for-lamb deal. I am looking forward to several cases of the excellent champagne-method sparkling Galleywood Wine going in the cellar.

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