We have had a busy few weeks with events here on the farm. Our three open days for Monsanto, Nidera and most recently KWS were all well attended. As ever, it’s challenging, but great fun showing people around our various demonstration plots.
Our Flegstock Charity Music Festival on 25 June was another huge success. With numerous bands and performers, and a crowd of more than 300 people, it was a long, but enjoyable day. Happily, the overnight rain quickly dried up and avoided a Glastonbury-style mud bath. More than £1,500 was raised for various charities, including RABI, and we are grateful to our many performers, helpers, sponsors and supporters.
We have been busy with harvest preparations and are near to having some oilseed rape ready to cut. This year we have three trailers equipped with heavy-duty flotation tyres. Although they were not cheap, they will help protect soil structure and be easier to pull in the field.
Unfortunately, as the trailers grow both in capacity and height some of our stores are showing their age and limitations. On most farms we will need to use the elevators to fill the elderly general purpose stores with the trailers tipping outside, free of height restrictions.
The three trailers are on fail-safe air brakes, with load sensing, a responsible approach to a fair bit of largely unavoidable road work. But it’s frustrating that the outdated weight limit means that to be road legal, we have to either pull a modern trailer with a small light tractor, or carry a part load.
For longer trips, a lorry is the safe way to haul. But larger tractors have become more common and the limit needs revising upwards to allow a safer, larger tractor to legally tow a 14t load in the trailer.
Farmer focus arable: Philip Bradshaw