Farmer Focus: Impressed with new angled-disc drill

“Hey, if you charged an entrance fee to the farm you could make a fortune. There are people everywhere!” This quip was from Georgina, one of our horse livery clients, as she returned from a hack round the farm. I think she was joking, but she is a financial adviser, so who knows?

I will not be setting up a turnstile, but we have started to engage more with the extra visitors by putting up some “lockdown learning logs”. These are laminated A4 information sheets which are tacked on to logs we have placed around the farm beside footpaths. They explain what we have just sown, what it is for, when it is harvested, what happens to the lambs.

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Quite simple stuff, but judging by the feedback, it has gone down particularly well with parents who have young children to amuse and educate.

The Exlana ewes have all lambed now in perfect warm and sunny weather. Very few needed obstetric assistance and the lambs are growing on well in the diverse mix which includes Timothy, fescue, cocksfoot, red clover, sainfoin, plantain, chicory and yarrow.

I have given four surplus triplet lambs to a neighbour, Bertie, age 7, to kickstart his sheep enterprise. I am impressed to hear he is getting up at 5am to give them their first bottle of the day.

Hew has covered a lot of ground with the new Sly Boss drill, getting spring beans, barley, rye and linseed sown. We have been pleased at how the angled disc coulter got beans into hard ground at 3in deep. It is always an anxious time for the drill operator in the weeks following sowing to see how crops emerge, and in truth Hew probably didn’t need the extra pressure of me putting information sheets round the farm saying what crop was (hopefully) going to be in the field.

With six weeks without rain, emergence and growth has been slower than we would like, but fortunately, Hew seems to have inherited my broad shoulders and thick skin and, as I type, we have some welcome rain. Phew.