Farmer Focus: Essex Young Farmers weekend a huge success

We have just hosted the Essex Young Farmers Big Exchange weekend, and what a huge success it was.

We had more than 300 Young Farmers from several counties partying and camping here at Parklands and despite some 6,000 people living just 300 metres away from the yard, we didn’t receive a single complaint.

It is a fantastic organisation and we are always pleased to help, for example by providing a venue or perhaps helping with public speaking training.

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Young Farmers more than ever needs to sign up young people from outside the industry to maintain its strength, but what an incredible opportunity this is to forge strong links between those working the land and those that are in different sectors.

Everyone has something to offer, whatever their background, and in return Young Farmers can give funding for education and training in all sorts of spheres in addition to the chance to have great fun and make life-long friendships.

Their dating success is far superior to any dating app, I’m sure. I definitely found the man of my dreams in Charlie at Young Farmers.

Dry crops

Meanwhile, things are looking a little dry and crops need a drink. Our spring beans and spring barley have got off to a good start thanks in part to our approach of drilling into moisture directly into stubbles.

In a dry spring such as this, spring crops established by cultivations ahead of the drill seem to be lacking in moisture and establishment percentages are affected.

Obviously last year, when ground conditions were much wetter, while we were waiting for the ground to dry out our neighbours were happily drilling into ploughed or cultivated land. We are still learning.

Our Exlana hoggets have just started lambing outdoors. So far, so good. Lambs are lively and mothers are attentive and milky.

It is all very different to years ago when we lambed intensively indoors in February. I am having to get used to looking on and not intervening with lambing assistance.

It is a bit like being an ex-Young Farmer: there to help when needed, but letting them get on successfully in their own way most of the time.

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