June on the farm. 2022

Newly shorn sheep on Castle Hill. Support local farmers by using the fine insulating qualities of their natural wool to keep yourself warm and cut down on heating bills!

Richard Fonge writes:

Last month I said that the crops were in need of rain, and at the months end we had rain, and the difference it has made is very noticeable, especially on the oats along the concrete road, and even more so on the beans on the Stuchbury footpath. Wheat and barley have ears of corn and are both members of the grass family. Oats come out in bell to form their seed. There are two large acreages of oats, on the left as you drive to the Magpie and up the concrete road to the bridge. They will be harvested for animal feed or breakfast cereal such as muesli .

In the years of the binder when sheaves were made and stooked it was always said that the stooks should hear the church bells three Sundays in a row before carried into the barn or made a rick of.

Barley is being grown in the field by Park lane. There are two types of barley, feed and malting, with different management for both. Malting barley after the brewing process has been completed produces a mash, which can be fed back to cattle. A nutritious high energy feed used by milk producers. I used to buy 20 tonnes at a time from Carlsberg. Also when available carrots and potatoes, which could be incorporated into a balanced ration. 

Most of the sheep have been shorn. With wool a much under used product, and heating costs rising, perhaps it is the time to wear woollen sweaters, rather than synthetic fibres and be able to turn the thermostat down.

It has been brought to my notice the precision planting of the maize at Stuchbury. G.P S or Global Positioning System is part of the modern tractor, where a satellite guides the tractor in a straight line and can plant the seed precisely. With G.P.S fertilisers can be applied at the correct rate across a field, after a soil analysis. Precision farming is here for the benefit of all, not least the soil on which we depend to grow our food.

The rain I mentioned at the start of these notes has made the prospect of a good harvest a reality. Something in the present world circumstances we should be grateful for.

Richard Fonge


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