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By The Barn

Angela Sargent

15 Jul 2019

Cut them in June, come again soon. Cut them in July they’ll surely die!”.

The showers we had last month have resulted in good crops of thistles and nettles and one of our jobs this month will be to cut them off.

There are different ways of getting rid of them - we could use sprays but we prefer to mechanically cut them, hopefully before they’ve seeded. I know birds and butterflies appreciate them for food and habitat but they are not in short supply, they take up space where grass could grow and they are very persistent. It’s quite an enjoyable job to do, looking back at a ‘clean’ field gives you a degree of satisfaction!

Our sheep have been shorn and we have wormed the lambs, giving them a spray of fly repellant at the same time. This should last for several weeks, depending on the weather and keep them safe from green bottle flies and their maggots.

Like all medicines, there is, what is called a ‘withdrawal’ period – this is a period of time those treated cannot enter the food chain and it is determined by the strength of the component chemical used. We have to decide beforehand when we are likely to be selling and then choose a product that fits in. Just the same with cattle.

It’s time to start combining cereals and then baling the resulting straw. Potatoes will need irrigation and you can see the automated hoses moving along the rows if you watch.

Soft fruits are ready to be picked, as are the salad vegetables and this is labour intensive - a bit of a problem if temporary staff is unavailable!

Fly tipping is becoming a horrendous problem. Everyone can see it but why does it happen? Who is doing it? Is it yours?

For more farming news follow Angela on Twitter @bythebarn

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