Rural Crime Increasing

Members of our farming group and local farming community have been affected by the recent increase in rural crime. Quad bikes are the main target for thieves.

The isolation of lots of farms means that there is little police presence. Thieves are using drones to scope out farms to see what equipment there is and if anyone is about.

wednesday workshop with Geoff Coxs

On Wednesday Mr Marriot’s friend Geoff Cox came in to school and we discussed the modern day young  farmer and the issues that come with the job.

Firstly, the year 10 land managment group and the Drama group teamed up with farmers club. We worked in groups and widened our “word bank” so that our brains kicked into action before getting more creative with drama activities. Our drama activities were linked with the troubles  facing farmers such as TB (tuberculosis), rural crime and veganism.

We loved our time with Geoff and Rachel – Thank you!

Update on the farms

First lambs of the season (Dutch texel)

New garage door fitted and  mucking buildings out lambing sheep prepping for lambing

Flat out chopping wood

Log splitting sand blasting

Slurry tanking(spreding cow muck across the land to help grass grow)

Crow shooting (to control them from eating all the provin and pecking eyes out

New Ktwo trailer for carting sawdust

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over but did it really begin for us farmers? Okay, we decorated our houses and gave presents to the sheepdogs (juicy bones and a sausage!) but otherwise in many ways Christmas is a normal day on the farm with lots of jobs to do. Some of us get our presents in the morning but some had to wait until the afternoon because first we had to feed our livestock and milk the cows. We had to bed our calves and sheep with fresh straw, clean water and cake to feed them (pellets). After all that we got a delicious Christmas dinner! A few of us had a nap with a copy of the Farmer’s Guardian on our laps. We opened more presents and then it was back to work!

Round-up:

Turkeys were that cheap that we were buying the plucked birds for £5 from auction. The farmers bought the chicks for £5 so they didn’t make a penny if anything they lost money after the cost of food and bedding. The same thing happened to us with our cows.

Some of us are scanning at the moment to see how many calves we might have. We make a lot of our money from this so hope we have a good number.

We have flooding on some of our land after all of this rain.

Friday farming news

This is what we’ve been doing recently:

  • Slurry spreading when frosty.The ground has to be hard or we’ll get stuck! We spread slurry to grow crops. It’s a good fertiliser. Although nothing is really growing this time of year we spread the slurry now because our tank is overflowing so we need to empty it. It also helps to enrich the soil now ready to sow crops in March and April.
  • Every two weeks on a Saturday some of our members go shooting and beating. It is still pheasant season. It starts at the end of October. This is a hobby to get a break from farming and it is also a way in which farmers are diversifying.
  • Tomorrow we are taking tups out. They will go out onto the main fell for winter with five or six bales of hay. The last ewes will lamb before the end of April.

Land Management

This week we have been doing all the summer jobs:

Rolling the meadows

Spraying nettles/thistles/dockings

Topping

Spread muck on the silo fields

Fertilizer/Till spreading

Draining

Post knocking

Fixing fences

Walling

Cutting the meadows

Shifting stones

Chipping wood

Log chopping.

 

 

No rest for the wicked

The Easter holiday brought great weather and progress to suit, with the sunshine making life easier both on and off the farm. The two weeks of relief from school gave chance for our members to knuckle down and get prepared for the summer. With the multitude of jobs being completed it became a satisfactory break from school. Here is some of the stuff we got up to:

  • We put the last of the slurry on
  • Fertiliser spread
  • Seeds rolled in
  • Turned young stock out (for some of us, our milk cows are still in because we have plenty of silage and the weather has been unpredictable)
  • Repaired fences ready for animals
  • One of our farms sold 35 bullocks at J36. We didn’t feel we got a good price – compared to last year we received a lower average per animal (about £150 less)
  • Rolling grass – we finished by the beginning of the second week
  • Still lambing!
  • Oh, and we revised for our GCSEs!

 

Spring is officially here ! Turnout 2019

Well spring is officially here ! After the cows being inside from the end of October to now end of March, it is a great time of the year, with the lambs skipping about and the cows eating the lovely green grass that has grown over the months!

We keep the cows inside during the winter months as the weather conditions are harsher and this could cause  pneumonia and there wouldn’t be any grass left to turn the cows out !

Making life easier on the fell

Being around Kirkby Lonsdale there are many hills and mountains, which in turn means that the area is very cold and wet. One of our members has recently created a container to house pet lambs that have been abandoned. To keep the lambs warm he uses a set of heat lamps which run off electricity; he also used a recycled IBC container to make the main part of the contraption.

 

Success in shows

Over the half term the farming group has been busy, with many shows and competitions we are now worn out ready for school.

Firstly we had luck at young farmers stock judging, coming both first overall and second in heifers.

Another great win over the holiday includes fixing a muck-spreader which is quite clearly a dirty job.

Furthermore some of our members have started lambing and some report having a bad start to the task, including abortions and prolapses in the sheep.

Despite all of this excitement we still have to come to school……