Thursday, 10 June 2010

Farming in glorious June.

June is the month for silaging - for gathering in that all-important first crop nutritious grass and wrapping it and storing it for Winter eatage. There is always a dichotomy amongst farmers about when to make that first cut - do you wait until the grass is really long (and some of that nutrition has been leached out) or do you go for the really nutritious stuff, regardless of length, which will boost the Winter milk yield?
Some farmers around us took the second option. As you drive round the Dale you see patchworks of yellow and green - the yellow is where the grass has already been cut.
Now it has rained all week. Those farmers who have cut will be pleased because the rain will encourage new growth on the cut fields and the second crop silage will be made all the sooner (some farmers manage three crops in a Summer). Those farmers (like us) who have not yet cut are also pleased for the rain because the grass was so parched that it was growing slowly. Most of it has already gone to seed but it is not really thick - this rain should thicken the grass up no end.###
Of course, the weather is never just right for farmers. Today the barometer has gone up considerably but the Dales weather has not caught on yet and it is still cool, windy (North east) and raining outside my window. The forecast says 'improving' - so we live in hopes.

In the meantime the farmer opposite is feeding silage to his Limousin heifers and nuts to his sheep because they have eaten off all the grass. I saw him doing this as I passed the landing window an hour ago and took a photograph - it is of necessity far away and a bit faint - but I was deshabille and it is raining, so couldn't get any nearer.
I took one of my garden from the same spot - so am putting that one on too. The self-sown aquelegia are a picture this year and have so far withstood the effects of the wind.
This is not the blog I intended to put on today - so I may well put another one on later if I find the time. Incidentally - thank you all for your good wishes - I am well on the way to recovery.

### It is worth mentioning that if you do not have a dairy herd then that really nutritious crop of first Spring grass is not needed because suckler herds and growers (animals being fattened for beef) are better not having the really nutritious stuff. Sorry - I really think I have overdone the word 'nutritious' in this post!


Dave King said...

The weather down here hasn't caught on yet, either - there's a perishing cold wind blowing from the east. Another thoroughly interesting post, though. (And thanks for agood ride on the old bus last week!)

Dave King said...

Just scrolling down your blog I read about your crisis last week. Sorry to hear you were unwell. Hope you are back to full ooomph by now.

Elisabeth said...

Do you know Weaver, I'm coming to England in two weeks time for a conference at Sussex university?

I was talking to my husband about the type of clothes we should bring. He suggested boots.

Is that possible? Boots in spring/summer.

I'll have to check the weather for that part of the world.

It sounds as though it may be colder for you than I had imagined.

I seem to be forever talking weather with you, Weaver. Farming talk must bring it out in me.

Golden West said...

What a wonderful word - deshabille!

The view from your window down the walkway is lovely and it's fun to see the garden gate where the mice live from a different angle.

Unknown said...

Certainly a nutritious post Weaver. :0) The weather needs a good talking to, doesn't it? So cold and blustery. You are wise to remain on the inside of the glass!

Cloudia said...

Hope you are feeling spritely!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Titus said...

Most round here went for the early cut, and I think they're glad they did. I love the sound of the forage harvesters going past the front door late into the night, and those yellow flashing lights!
Aquelegias very good here too - I love them, particularly the way they spread themselves with such ease - and much to my delight my Jacob's Ladder has thrown up a rogue white spike.
Hope you're properly back to full health soon.