A busy Christmas at Driffield Monitor Farm

I would like to start by wishing everyone a prosperous New Year. We were quite busy up to Christmas: we got a new hedge planted with the help of my son who was on holiday, while my brother was delivering wheat into the local flour mill to keep them going over Christmas. We start again on Tuesday 2nd January.

After getting the new hedge in we put plastic spirals round the plants and a support cane to protect them from hare damage. We have also been on the land finishing the last bit of ploughing,which was the headlands around the field where we planted the new hedge.

I also took the opportunity to fill in the furrow holes around all our ploughed fields which are destined for spring barley or vining peas.

I used a farm-made cultivator, which is three Simba top tilth tines on a heavy frame behind our compact John Deere. This was quite a cold job on a tractor with only a safety frame on a frosty morning but it worked very well. The frost had firmed up the surface nicely for me to travel without a mark but the cultivator could penetrate and do its work. I also took the chance to finish the hedge cutting while it was frosty, cutting a neighbour’s hedge back over a dyke we maintain.

After the New Year we have two fields to spray with their second herbicide and then we are finished until the spring. We will also have to hire in a five-tonne digger to take two new slips out of one of our main drainage ditches which I found while walking the dog over the holiday.

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Philip Meadley farms 250ha near Driffield, approximately four miles from the North Sea coast. In a four-way family partnership, he grows milling wheat, oilseed rape, peas and barley. Phil is particularly interested in soil health, reducing fuel usage, addressing mycotoxins and looking at his whole approach to cultivations. http://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/driffield

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