Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Land

Driving down the steep bank after lunch in our Sunday haunt today, we turned the corner and the top end of Wensleydale came into view.   There was only one word to describe it today - green.
After months of awful weather when it has been mostly under water, thick with frost, dried up after a cold, dry  spell.   In fact anything other than what it should be at this time of year.

Farmers are, of course, now a long way behind with the work that needs doing.   These few days of very warm weather mean that the grass is growing - and I mean growing.   This is bringing silaging into view more on time than was ever expected. 

But the fields are still very wet under their covering of thick grass; certainly too wet still to take the great heavy tractors which are now waiting to put on the 20:10:10 fertiliser to make the grass grow even more quickly.   And meanwhile, because the cattle are almost always out by this time of April, silage will be running low for some farmers.  But the fields are so wet that putting out the cattle just yet would result in churning everywhere up too much.   'Wait another week seems to be the rule at present.'

In other words - the jobs are piling up for farmers who are now working all hours to catch up.   And let's not forget lambing, which is still going on up here in the uplands  - plenty of Swaledales still left to lamb.   Today is Lambing Sunday which serves as a reminder.

Still a lovely sunny day but temperatures are back to normal for the time of the year - chilly with a sharp breeze.   But it does us all good to remember that things do even out and get back to normal - Derek's Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey has been suffering from water deprivation for months but is now back to how it should be,

So following that premise farmers will no doubt all being silaging at the middle of May and any doubts will all have been forgotten (fingers crossed).

17 comments:

Terra said...

I enjoy hearing about farmers and it is good you are in tune with them and the seasons and how important water and sun are to farmers in particular.

Jules said...

I noticed the cows have been out in the fields here this last week and it looks like most of the lambing is finished.
The views must have been glorious in Wensleydale.X

Granny Sue said...

I surely hope things get back to normal--farming is a tricky occupation at best. One needs to be a gambler at heart, I think! I remember when we were raising tobacco and hay and other crops; the weather could break your heart, and your bank account. It is much less stressful now to just raise a few chickens, bees, and gardens, trust to the hunters to provide meat, and to retirement accounts for income rather than the uncertainty of crops and weather. I think most people are unaware of the difficulties and hazards of a farming life--and forget how grateful we should all be to those who continue to engage in this necessary profession.

jinxxxygirl said...

Love reading your farming update Pat.. :) Here in Arkansas its been a chilly April also and we've had some glorious rain.. which we always need badly it seems.. The Daffodils are gone and the Dogwood Trees are bursting in all their glory.. Some of the late trees are finally starting to leaf out and a haze of bright Spring green can be seen if you gaze into the woods.. Early fawns should be dropping soon.. and it won't be long and i will have to mow my grass for the first time.. We like to let it go to seed with the new Spring growth.. Have a wonderful day! Hugs! deb

Heather said...

Farmers are always at the mercy of the weather, but they always seem to catch up somehow. Lets hope May will be a kinder month and behave as it should.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Farmers are way behind here too though it's mainly because crops have been late to germinate and slow to grow - and there's really nothing you can do about that.

Derek Faulkner said...

You describe things pretty much as they are Pat and I doubt that there's that much difference between our two regions. I agree with your comment about how green it suddenly is. The rape is in full bloom, the winter wheat is now shooting up, lambing is finished and some fields are being tilled ready to be sown with either Spring Barley or Maize.

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

Its been another lovely day again today. We didn't have any overnight storms that many have experienced but the breeze was far warmer today than yesterday. Its hard to believe it April, I dare say we will be reminded very shortly. It is lovely to see the blossom though.

Joanne Noragon said...

It's so good to have finally located spring, here the last week of April.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Nobody is out on the land here, yet. We are only just getting rid of our snow. If the mild weather continues, it won't be too much longer as long as the land dries out a bit. -Jenn

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

We've had to borrow other grounds for our cricket, ours has only just emerged from submergence

Rachel Phillips said...

Thunder storms this evening after another hot day. Farmers catching up.

Franny And Danny said...

Whenever I hear the word Wensleydale I always hear it in my head said in Peter Sallis's voice.

Cro Magnon said...

They were ploughing like crazy here all last week, and my neighbour sowed his Sunflower crop yesterday. Grass still not long enough for hay making, but May is not far off.

thelma said...

Well it has been a busy time for the farmers here to. Great tractors with loaders behind, carting manure. Then the great straw bales come by, cows still in, there was a sad case of 200 pigs being burnt to death after an electrical fault in the barn just down the road.

Bovey Belle said...

Our local farmers have been making the most of the sunshine (we are now back to grey!) and spreading slurry in the advance of the little rain which arrived yesterday. We have asked for our paddock to be topped before the next viewing (next Saturday)and Next Door said to remind him mid week as they are very busy.

There were great swathes of Dandelions along the verges this week and when they are not in your garden plot, they look absolutely beautiful. At a roundabout just outside Abergavenny were thousands of Promroses crammed together and made me think of Shakespeare's England and how much we have lost . . .

George said...

The title of this blog says it all, Pat. Wherever we live, but particularly in lovely places like your corner of the world, our lives and routines are rooted in the land, and so it should be. Glad to know that your weather has taken a turn for the better.