Farmer Focus: Mower leaves wheelings but maize is in

I’ve had a busy few weeks since the sun came out. This article has been in the back of my mind for a week or so, but trying to find time to write has been a challenge.

I reckon I have half an hour before our contractors turn up to chop grass, so we’ll see how we go.

I seem to have filled the rainy days in the workshop. My latest project was a toolbox weight block for ploughing.

See also: Photo of the Week: Ready, steady, silage!

About the author

Tom Hildreth
Livestock Farmer Focus writer Tom Hildreth and family grow grass and maize for the 130-cow herd of genomically tested 11,000-litre Holsteins near York supplying Arla. The Hildreths run a café, ice cream business and milk vending machine on the farm.
Read more articles by Tom Hildreth

I got fed up with having the plough spares and tools loose in the cab, so I bought two sheets of steel and set about building with only a rough plan in mind.

I have to say it’s not bad for a dairy farmer playing at welding. It weighs about 400kg, and I could add more weight if needed, but it seemed to balance the tractor just right.

I was pleased to get it finished in time to plough the maize ground.

The past week has been spent getting the maize ground ready and I was pleased to see it sown by 19 May. We drilled into the right ground conditions and soil temperature, even if it was two weeks late by the calendar.

Speaking of being late, we are about a week overdue with silage, but again it is the earliest the ground conditions would allow, and even then there were a few spots where the mower tractor left a wheeling or two.

The sunshine has brought a fresh wave of customers to the ice cream parlour and the regulars have been seeing the cows grazing away in the field behind the car park.

But when the cows move around the grazing platform and out of sight, a common question from customers is asking where they have gone. Their minds are blown when a member of the café team explains rotational grazing.

It’s moments like this you realise that what is obvious to us is a different world to Joe Public – but then I wouldn’t know the first thing about an office job.

At that, the chopper has just rocked up, so I’d better get out and get a start leading (carting).