As we fly through October, we are working hard with just one field of potatoes left to dig. Once our potatoes are out of the ground, they will be graded, boxed and then put in cold stores ready to be sold over the coming months.
We grow eight different varieties of potatoes. Most are retailed to fish and chip shops, farm shops, pubs and restaurants, and the rest are sold to wholesalers.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in the number of bags sold from the farm gate. With unpredictable times ahead, we expect these sales to carry on for a while longer.
Happy New (arable) Year!
The autumn is an exciting time for us down on the farm as it is the beginning of our arable year. We start to prepare and drill the ground with crops for next years’ harvest.
Last year we had a very wet drilling season and we saw the impact during harvest. Yields were low and some crops failed to grow in a few fields, leaving noticeable patches; this is something that we, as arable farmers, don’t want to see!
It is nice to be able to start afresh and within the next couple of months, see the seeds germinate into seedlings, covering each field.
Each year the crops rotate per field to help prevent crop-specific diseases and weed problems. This enables us to keep on top of any unwanted regrowth from the previous year as we can spray it off without harming the new growing crop.
With the oil seed rape planted in September, we are now working hard to get the winter barley and wheat drilled. Wheat is our biggest crop acreage, so we are working long days to get it into the ground before it turns wet again.
Getting ready for winter
Once we have drilled all the crops, it will be time to catch up on other jobs on the farm. These include fixing broken fences and machinery, along with getting other bits and bobs up to scratch ready for the winter. As always, we hope the weather stays on our side and we look forward to seeing the germination and progression of the crops in the coming winter months.
As well as preparing for winter, we are also preparing for spring. We have let our ram in with our ewes and hope to lamb them in February. Although this may seem a while away, we are always aware of the changing seasons on the farm and spring is really just around the corner.