Here at Watergate, business remains as usual on the farm, through the pandemic. We hope you are all well, and we missed all of our Spring visitors who would have normally come onto the farm.

Crops

A large part of farming life is dictated to us by the weather. We had one of the driest Springs for a long time, which had quite a detrimental impact on our crops. The spring planted crops were slow to get going and the winter crops were looking very droughted. And then – we finally got some rain!!! Who could believe after the wet winter we had that we’d be wishing for rain??

Anna out walking with our agronomist Alice (crop doctor) in early May. They were looking at the spring barley to assess it’s growth and any factors which may affect it later on in the season, including disease, and weeds.

After this rain, we are feeling a lot better about the prospects for harvest, which is not too far away. Preparations are underway for harvest in a few weeks’ time, which including cleaning our grain stores thoroughly, servicing our machinery, and conducting safety checks.

Our winter wheat will be our first crop through the combine! Here is is pictured last week. The grains have filled and we will know it is ready when it has turned golden and the grains have a low moisture content.

We have also been selling some of our excess straw from last harvest to a farmer in Devon, which has been loaded onto big lorries for transportation.

Will, loading up some straw which is destined for Devon!

Sheep

The rain also provided some much needed growth of our grass, which the sheep are certainly happy about! The lambs are growing well and many have been sold already. We are going to be cutting some hay with some excess pieces of grassland, which will provide food for the sheep in the winter and when they are housed indoors for lambing next year.

Turkeys

This week, we are welcoming our first turkeys onto the farm so we are getting the sheds ready with good bedding, food and water. The turkeys will arrive at 4 weeks old.

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