Hello my name is Martin Hodgson. I am the newly appointed Farm Manager for Martin & Debbie Stephenson. I have been a working farm manager for the past twenty years and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead at Danebury Manor Farm. This is the first instalment for my monthly blog ‘News from the field’.
I have arrived at the busiest time of year in the farming calendar: harvest. The winter barley crops will be harvested by the time you read this and the varieties we have grown are Venture and Craft which are on a malting contract. At the same time we have built and installed a weigh bridge and some dual purpose sheds. The weigh bridge is an important management tool to record yields from specific fields. This way we can assess varieties and their profitability. The oil seed rape is almost ready for desiccation and hopefully the yields will be encouraging however small seed size is a worry due to the uncharacteristic hot few months.
Other drought related issues are that we, like many farmers nationally, are having to supplement our cattle that are grazing in the dale. This is obviously a concern as we are having to dip into our winter forage stocks. Our suckler herd cows have just received their bi-annual pedicure and their feet are in great shape. We have two batches of young calves. The first batch aged around 12 weeks will be weaned at the end of July and the second batch will be weaned at the end of August. All are doing really well.
The straw bedded pig unit with a capacity of 2000 is finally de-stocked and preparations for cleaning the units are underway ready for the new weaners to arrive.
I have been lucky to meet many local farmers since I started including the Sherburn discussion group which had a farm tour around Danebury last week. I popped over toDriffield Show and it’s refreshing to attend a show that remains true to its agricultural heritage.