JUNE 2009
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68mm of rain fell in May and as mentioned last in last months report the weather was warming up so Owen has baled our silage here is his all in one bale and wrap machine the baler also has a chopper unit in it so it can chop and pack the grass even tighter in the bales although the grass spent 4 days in the hot sun he reckons the bales will still weigh in at around 600kgs.

The third ended with some very bad news for us as Dairy Farmers of Britain our milk buyer/sellers have entered liquidation I’m somewhat peeved at the fact I learnt the news first by Teletext on the national TV news and those at the top didn’t have the guts to inform us properly. In hindsight they always seemed to go into hiding when the going got tough. Sorry to seem bitter but last months milk payment may well be in doubt. The open farm Sunday plans seemed to be coming together about the only things that are at present as we collected a hire tractor for the forager only to find it didn’t have enough oil pipe fittings ( we call them spool valves) to match it up to the machine.

Further bad news is that we have lost any hope of a payment for our May’s milk. To add to my woes I came in tonight to the final over in England’s 20 twenty world cup game against Holland and was just in time to watch them loose. The heatwave of up to 25c cooled with around 18c max. Despite the rain Open Farm Sunday can be called a success and I would like to thank all who attended and also all who helped. We still managed a pond dip, milking parlour tour and a try out of some of the vintage machines and of course our chicks were loved by everyone. It’s nice to give a follow up and Susan and her family who we last saw at Holmes Chapel last month got to see just how much the chicks they saw on the 3rd of May had grown. Back with the farming and I hope we can find a contracted milk buyer this week for our milk as at present our collection is being organized by the DFOB receivers. Any fellow farmers reading this will know the gravity of the situation. On a higher note however England thrashed Pakistan during their 20 twenty encounter at the Oval come on England Silaging got underway and although it took some time for Simon to figure out the hydraulics system the Fresh forager is performing well………except for one small thing. Simon got the pickup reel blocked (this is the part which actually collects the grass from the floor) and I helped him un-block it this is done by simply pulling out the grass blockage. Forager clear and on he went and after no more than 1 metre I heard a slight “ping” from the forager as something small and metallic must have been picked up. I was right and my top pocket was empty where there should have been my mobile phone. This week we have had Matthew for a full week’s works experience and our young friend Anthony from a few weeks ago now comes to us every Friday. They are two enterprising lads and they did find several pieces in the trailer full of grass when I tipped off at the clamp. Silaging was nearly finished with just 6 acres left but we were rained off for a day and we were stopped by a front wheel puncture on the hire tractor. Besides this we have the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival to attend with the trailer on Sunday and Thelwall day group visiting on Saturday.

Then next Monday until Wednesday it’s Cheshire Show. Oh and I think I have a birthday somewhere in this mix. Silaging finished and the sheet is on and tyred over so then on to the Cheshire show. Another thing is Sherzy our red and white cow has had another daughter also a red and white.

Folk and Boat festival Sunday then Monday is show set up day The first day of the Cheshire Show was soon over and we were very busy on the NFU’s PR stand. Notable visitors including Mr. Peter Kendall our NFU national president in the morning and in the afternoon David Bellamy OBE the noted TV personality and botanist. I must admit though remembering him as a child on TV and also being parodied by the comedian Lenny Henry on the children’s (?) Saturday morning programme Tiswas in the late 1970’s. Two different people but both VERY interesting. We finished and loaded up at the show by 7.00 pm however it took another hour to get off the showground. Aiden came with me for the day and was a real trooper as the car was crammed to bursting point with extra items as you can see. Thanks to all who helped and supported us on the day and of course to all the visitors to our marquee who make doing this worth while That night I attended the Three Greyhounds pub quiz as from the 30th I’m taking over as guest question master for a few weeks.. Today has been spent topping a large patch of thistles on the Left Hand meadow as the have really taken off this year due to the flooding of the past two years.

More next month, Phil



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