So firstly I should probably apologize that it has been so long since my last post. It is said that the two most stressful things that you can do in life are to have a baby and move house. Rachel and I decided it would be a good idea to enter into both of these in the same two month period. Needless to say that we have managed to keep ourselves busy with all this going on.
If that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, starting a new job in a new county has added to the interesting ride of the last few months. So at the risk of sounding like a moaner, I should probably mention that I am having the time of my life and loving every minute. On the subject of the new job, there a lot new challenges to get stuck into. There are the obvious practical issues of new tractors, new fields to find. I’ve only got lost once so far, turns out I don’t need to get on the main road to town to find any of our land.
When I arrived I was given a set of maps and some recommendations and set to it straight away. It’s been a steep learning curve going from a self propelled sprayer to a trailed one. Getting used to backing into corners is proving tricky, especially when I forget to turn off the steering draw-bar. It may have led to some fairly wavy headland tramlines. I have also had to teach myself to drive in straight lines again, which either requires more concentration than I remember or I care more about getting it straight now? All the drilling is done with GPS so at least the tramlines are easy to follow.
My first job was to set about creating some stale seed beds with the farmer’s friend, glyphosate. This time in the guise of Syngenta’s Touchdown Quattro, what a fantastically designed can that is! I will leave a review for those that are interested. Seedbed clearance gave me a good opportunity to familiarize myself with the new kit, all it’s controls and when to switch on and off. It took a few loads to get used to the change from auto everything, good job it was glyphosate and not the winter wheat pre-em, after the pre-em I set off onto the phoma and insecticide sprays on the winter rape. To add to the list the recommendations have turned up for a dose of bydv on the wheat and barley. So it’s fair to say that when the weather is right I will have plenty to do.
The farm also rears lambs and beef cattle for their own farm shop. I must admit I am rather enjoying the variety mixed farming can throw at you and find it very interesting, coming from a mainly arable background. I seem to start most mornings by feeding the stock, it was a little disconcerting seeing 13 beef cattle run at me to begin with, but it seems they only want to be mates with the bloke with the feed bag on his shoulder. However I expect my involvement with the stock will decrease as the spraying recommendations increase.
So, to summarize, I’ve been pretty busy this last few weeks with one thing or another! Some of the things I’ve been doing are completely new to me, for instance beet carting. It is very interesting to see how a beet harvester works, truly amazing pieces of machinery. This may sound strange but being part of the min-til generation but I have also been introduced to power harrowing, it’s quite a nice job really. Nice and steady and you can see yourself making a big difference to the soil. As a sprayer driver it’s nice to be able to level out some ploughing! Although that’s not a major task here, the guy pulling the plough is a top operator with proper field craft, a real asset these days!