Leather Jackets……

08 May 2019

The organic Spring Barley and Winter Wheat has all been raked with a machine with small tines, this is done to disturb the soil and hopefully kill and suppress any small weeds in the crop. We have also sown organic Fodder Beet as a trial in one of the field next to the Spring barley.
All the spring crops are looking well apart from some fields of organic spring barley. These fields are getting damaged with leather jackets a (larvae of crane flies) which feed on the roots and stems of the plants. There is little we can do to stop this apart from giving the worst infected areas a rake to bring the larvae to the surface and let the crows and other birds eat them.
All the calving and lambing will be finished by the end of this month. The calving has gone well with very little problems. All the young stock have been turned out to grass for the summer. They have all been set stocked this year, but in the future we hope to mob graze them all. All the cows and calves are also outside on grass, we have put 80 cows and calves together to create a fairly large mob. This will be double the size of the mob we have had in the past, hopefully in the next few years we will increase the mob size to around 100-120. This will be done over all the cattle young stock and cows and calves.
We have also set up another field for mob grazing, this takes a bit of time and planning to make sure the semi permanent fence is in the right place, and all the water pipes are laid out correctly and there is plenty water. All the breeding bulls have had their annual health check for fertility, their feet are also checked and trimmed to help stop them going lame.

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