First of all apologies to John (By Stargoose and Hanglands) for highlighting his site in red at the top of my blog list - I don't know what I have done wrong but shall wait until my son appears and he will correct it for me.
Now to silaging. Some of our local farmers have already got in their first cut silage. Once we get up on the top road and look down across the fields it is easy to see where the fields have been cut and the grass gathered in as the fields are a pale yellow. Luckily they all seem to have got it in yesterday as today it has poured with rain all day. There is a school of thought now which thinks that very early first cut is not necessarily a good thing as the early grass has a very high sugar content and this may lead to fermentation. The farmer and I were talking about winter feed on our return journey from our monthly visit to the physiotherapist this morning - before silaging (which is well within the farmer's memory) all the grass fields were made into hay and there was only one cut. But of course, in those days, milking herds were very much smaller. Now it would be impossible for a farmer to make a living from such a small dairy herd and when a local farm is sold one of the neighbouring farmers usually buys it so that he can increase his herd. Most local herds have at least a hundred cows actually milking, plus dry cows awaiting calving and young stock for replacement. So you can see why some farmers silage early so that they can with luck get in three crops in the summer.
The other thing we noticed from the top road was how all the bright yellow rape fields have suddenly disappeared. The weather has been warm and sunny for a few days before today and the flowers have gone and the seeds are set and the cheery yellow has gone for another year.
The farmer goes to hospital for an operation to remove a rodent ulcer from just below his eye tomorrow. He seems to be taking the whole thing in his stride - but I shall be mighty pleased when it is all over.