Monday, 30 September 2013

Down on the Farm

Whats been happening" Down on the Farm"

Two legged mole plough.. improving the drainage
What a difference 12 months make... cracks in soil and we need some rain now
This oat and radish cover crop needs a drink
Blackgrass in amongst the osr
Flower/pollen and nectar plot preparation

Scarified plot ready for flowers/pollen and nectar

Seeding flower margins


Kings Campaign mix cover crop
Leicester Longwools could become Loddington Longwools

Combining spring beans 27th September 4.5t/ha from this field

nice heap in the store.. looks like average will be 3.7- 4.00 t/ha 

10.00am this morning ...last field of spring oats to complete this years harvest


7.00pm Last trailer into store... Goodbye Harvest 2013

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

September Report

All the spring barley and Spring oil seed rape is now cut and that leaves the spring beans and 75 acres of spring oats. Fingers crossed the forecast looks a little more promising for next week.

200 acres of winter oilseed rape was sown in the last week of August with the Claydon direct drill,  micro-nutrients were incorporated in the seed bed.  GPS plotted our tramlines and what a joy to roll and spray without peering into the abyss looking for slight indentations left by pre-emergence markers. A half rate of slug pellets and pre-emergence herbicide completed the operations.

Pre-emergence markers are easy to follow

More time to take in the wonderful Leicestershire landscape

Sometimes tramline planning doesn't always work out
The oilseed rape has now emerged although for nearly a fortnight the plants were short of moisture.
We will give the crop 28kgs of N and apply a graminicide to help with volunteer cereal control. Black grass and brome may take a bit more to control.

There is rape emerging here... promise!

Close up
Black grass is waiting in the wings !!!
 We have sown a cover crop on two fields that are coming into spring beans. Fodder radish and oats are just coming through. The late drilling date of Sept 1st, may not make this as successful as planned

Thursday, 12 September 2013

1st Anniversary of Visitors Centre

On Wednesday the Allerton Project was host to a number of invited guests to celebrate the 1st anniversary of our visitors centre. Organised by Dr Alastair Leake and chaired by Hugh Oliver-Bellasis, Vice Chairman of the Trustees, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

Our guest presenters included;
Dr. Lydia Smith –NIAB TAG
Richard Barnes – Game Cover & Conservation Crop Sales Manager, Kings Seeds
Bill Jordan MBE, Chairman, Conservation Grade

Rob Simpson – Managing Director, BASIS
Graham Hartwell – Stewardship Manager, BASF
Stewart Goldie-Morrison – CEO, the Country Trust

Rachel Crisp – The Women’s Institute

Sylvester Cheung – Sylvester Cheung Architects Ltd & ProHelp

Anniversary Group

Tour took in recycling, renewables and biobeds

Discussion on the transition to direct drilling

Richard Barnes and Phil Jarvis on the merits of different cover crops.

Dr Chris Stoate explains how soil and nutrients need containing on farm.
(Photos by kind permission of Morag Walker GWCT)

 Many thanks to all our guests and visitors and we look forward to many more anniversaries.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Wake me up when September ends

We think we have been dreaming, finally a decent summer.

It has been terrific weather for our wheat harvest and although we were keen to get crops gathered in as early as possible not much has been cut above 17% moisture.

We have about 100 acres of spring oats and 250 acres of spring beans left to cut.

We had a visit from BBC Radio Leicester, and the morning show host Jim Davis took a trip around Loddington to discuss Harvest 2013 (Press Listen Now and go to 2hr:39m:27s). Jim was broadcasting from Brooksby College on Wednesday 11th September. Some of what we saw is pictured below.

However, no sooner has the combine left the field........

Then the cultivator is getting the ground ready for next year's wheat crop....

The GPS system on the tractor allows us keep the lines straight and stops us from too much overlapping

 Next we will roll the fields to try and chit our blackgrass and then try the new Claydon drill in a few weeks time .

Farmer Phil talks to BBC Leicester's Jim Davis

As Jim Davis tweeted "not a bad office"