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October finished with 118mm of rain one of the wettest months so far and we are currently getting the third cut on the drive field wet. The cows seem settled on the day out night in routine at present but it looks like we will need a new fuel lift pump on the IH 434. This is becomming a priority as we need it for the straw chopper. Quite a few dry cows now so milking isnít taking too long and next week sees our annual visit from Manchester University. Mick and I have been trying to finish off the brick skin on the back of the shed or at least use up all the bricks to the rear as we want give the ground a final grade with the digger leaving it to settle over winter and re-seed in the spring. Together with this we are putting the soil banking along the back yard (machinery park) this has to be finished ready for hedging to be planted and I am aiming to seed the banking below with a wild flower/bird seed mixture in the spring. The aim is to work with a local secondary school with their science department taking soil samples for analysis and tailoring the seeds mixtures to suit.

We round baled the drive field on Saturday and thank goodness we did as we had 25mm of rain yesterday. I don’t at present know when we will cart them in. Driving around the countryside there are a good many of my peers in the same position and talking to one of Alan’s drivers when they were baling , maize harvesting this year has been a fraught expirience. He said the harvester had to be towed out 16 times at last Friday’s farm due to getting stuck. The cows are still wanting to go outside at present but it better hadn’t rain anymore or they will be disappointed.

Yesterday’s work with the digger has seen the back yard more or less finished next on the agenda is muckspreading. The cows are still wandering off for a few hours but given this weekend’s forecast I don’t think for much longer now. Simon has started a new job working for National Milk Reccords to learn more follow this link . He is starting as a recorder going from farm to farm taking milk samples and yields from each individual cow. His first job being a herd of over 300 cows. Certainly different to here at home. 

My last prediction about the cows has prooved correct and they are now in day and night ( roll on April) and yesterday and Saturday was muckspreading. Today we are stopped due to rain but if the forcast is correct ( they didn’t predict 25mm on Sunday until Saturday night) I should get going again soon. I tried lifting one of the round bales today with the loader ….no chance as I had suspected so it was off to Norcroft to borrow the rear end spikes. I have a spot of good luck with the shearer. Last week I went to Andy pour hedgecutting , buckraking friend for advice as the only part missing is the actual cutting head but the Lister type is quite diferent in the way it attaches. We had worked out a conversion to make a vintage Lister fit these being less rare than our Burman ( Burman and sons ceased trading in 1960). Ebay to the rescue and we now have TWO perfect cutters with spares as sold by Paul from Nottingham. I still can’t believe it. Further research has found an advert for the horse clipping version dated 1906. We have also had the first calf in 6 weeks born today its a white and black patchy looking thing but it’s mother is a white spotty animal.

That's it for this month regards Phil



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