Thursday, 22 May 2014

Silaging and other topics.

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.

15 comments:

A Heron's View said...

The main reason for no longer making hay is that the food value is higher in silage, roughly if you give Hay the value of 2 then Silage would 10.

Em Parkinson said...

Five times more nutrition; five hundred times more smelly!

Good luck to the farmer for the operation and to you with the nerves!

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

We make hay from 3 fields and sell the hay. It's the most nerve wracking time of the year.
Hope The Farmer gets on OK at hospital

Willow said...

We have to be careful with first cut hay ( or early grass ) with the horses as it can be too rich and bring on founder if we aren't careful with intoducing them to it gradually.

Dartford Warbler said...

Wishing all the best to The Farmer for his operation. All that wonderful sunshine and fresh air sadly catches up in the end. I have other friends with the same, after outdoor lives. Hoping that he heals well.

the veg artist said...

I have very fond memories of summers on a small mixed farm. Haymaking, twenty or so cows, a pig or two, hens, a large veg garden. Idyllic for a child in those days - hard and financially tough for the people running it! Best wishes to the Farmer!

Heather said...

How different farming practices have to be these days, from when we were young. Every good wish to The Farmer for his eye operation. I daresay you will both be relieved when it is over.

Cloudia said...

Shall say a prayer for Farmer's wee procedure

Frances said...

Lot's to be learned about silage here, and I thank you for all that this city dweller learns from your posts.

Best wishes to your Farmer for careful, caring and skillful treatment by the doctor.

Cro Magnon said...

None of my immediate neighbours milk any more. Those that still keep a few cows do so for beef. The fashion here is to make the first cuts of hay into big round bales, then wrap them in long lines of plastic; only chopped maize now goes into making those huge mounds of tyre-covered loose silage.

I'm pleased to say that my own hay was baled, and taken indoors as proper HAY.

angryparsnip said...

Very late today...
Good luck to the farmer tomorrow.

cheers, parsnip

Virginia said...

Wishing Farmer a fast recovery from his surgery. Milking herds here in New Zealand are huge now, but of course our climate is pretty benign. The degradation of our rivers is becoming a major political issue, as in spite of record returns, a number of farmers are doing the bare minimum to abide by the (pretty liberal) regulations about effluent run off. Unfortunately it seems that it takes very little time to destroy a river's ecosystem but many years for it to recover....

Pondside said...

Dairy farms here are enormous operations. Our friends here on the island, with small operations, usually cut two or three times, depending on now rainy June is.
Good luck to the Farmer tomorrow!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for all the good wishes for the farmer and thanks for dropping by too. Yes John, I saw that wonderful station for Sandringham on TV a while ago - very swish.

thelma said...

A successful operation and a quick recovery for the farmer please and don't worry. I like old fashioned 'rectangular' bales, the ones you could pick up and the string cut your fingers to pieces....