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  • Writer's pictureOllie Martin

Late Spring Update

Updated: May 15, 2019

So somehow we are already in mid-May. I am pleased to say that all our spring sown crops are now looking pretty happy with life despite a very dry start. Unfortunately, with the rain also comes a flush of weeds which we will be watching closely. Sterile Brome is of particular concern especially in the spring Barley where no herbicide options really exist. As such we are looking into the possibility of bringing back the hoe as a means of cultural weed control.

Winter cereals are making good progress with the earlier dry weather resulting in low disease pressure. The winter rye is now on ear with the wheats now approaching flag leaf emergence. The beans are flowering and walking through them is a pleasure with the sweet aroma and intense pollinator activity. The level of insect activity is really pleasing and suggests that eliminating insecticides from our crop protection regime is the right (if a little risky) decision.

A bee pollinating our field beans. One of many.

On the livestock front, the spring calving herd have just about finished calving with minimal human input required, which is pleasing. They were turned out of the yards way back in March and have since been grazing their way around the estate parkland.

Tedding out grass to speed up the wilting process.

We have also begun making the first silage of the year to keep the cattle fed through winter. We are members of the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, meaning that our cattle eat only grass, even when they are indoors during the winter. This has benefits both for environmental and human health.

Mowing grass for silage.

Looking ahead, we have the Groundswell No-till Show and Conference to look forward to towards the end of next month, preparations for which are well under way. After that harvest will soon be upon us. Two good reasons to keep our fingers crossed for favourable weather.

You can stay up to date with our progress by following us on Twitter: @WestonParkFarms

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