John Glover currently milks 65 cows plus followers on a 20ha (51-acre) county
council holding near Lutterworth, Leicestershire, with a further 13ha (32 acres) of land.
He is due to move farms,
having recently gained the tenancy of another
40ha (100-acre) county council farm.
WELL we are back in the sandwich season again, with sandwiches for dinner and again for tea – but Janet says I have a varied diet because I have toast for breakfast. We are spending more time at the new farm, and with the children on holiday from school, picnics in the new house are frequent.
Progress is still slow there; so far the electricity supply has been moved and cables put underground ready for building work to start. The cubicles have been taken out and new layouts for parlour collecting yards and housing agreed.
This recent spell of fine weather has enabled us to make some hay as well as second-cut silage which has been baled and wrapped. We are hoping to refloor the silage clamp with Tarmac next spring so the second cut has not gone in.
The 35 acres of maize may be put into an Agbag if building is still ongoing at harvest. All but a seven-acre field of this is growing well, but in this field it was always going to be a risk. The field had not been ploughed for many years and was not productive. However, it produced a good seed-bed which was limed, topped dressed with 3cwt of nitrogen and 3.5cwt of 0.18.36, the same rates we use when no manure is applied. It was then sprayed for wireworms and drilled on May 14. The crop germinated well, with even full rows, but did not grow well – at Royal Show week it was less than nine inches tall.
To try and help the crop we had the plants tested for nutrient status. This was done by removing the lower leaves and extracting the sap from them to see which nutrients were limiting. In our case, phosphate and potassium were unusually low. A foliar feed has now been applied and we wait to see the result.
We have been in this situation before where the first crop struggles but following crops improve; last years Aviso – a dwarf variety – growing over 8ft tall and 20/80 up to 10ft. This causes problems when walking the crops as Matthew, who is five, can no longer see over the crop when on my shoulders.n
The recent spell of fine weather has enabled John Glover to make some hay as well second cut grass silage.