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Peter Chapman: Calving starts early, some advice misses target, and the DVLA issue resolved

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There has been a bit more action this month but ground conditions have kept the plough in the shed. We have been lucky, missing a lot of the rain and snow seen in the West, but the ground is, stubbornly, not drying out as I would like.

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We did have a week of frost which helped, allowing us to muck out some cattle courts and take in the last of the straw.

 

We normally manage to take all our straw inside but, along with everyone else, straw yields were up this year and some had to stay outside. With the surplus this year, it looks like we will be left with most of the inside straw so the chopper could be on much more this harvest.

 

Other duties carried out this month have included running repairs on chicken sheds, vaccinating cows with their usual pre-calving cocktail and seriously trimming some overgrown beech hedges. 

 

When bedding the cows, I did get a surprise on turning a corner and seeing a new wee calf looking up at me. Calving has started a couple of weeks earlier than planned, with one of the heifers producing quicker than expected. All is fine with the calf having suckled and got on its feet, so hopefully the remainder will be just as trouble free.

 

Peter Chapman, Aberdeenshire

Peter Chapman farms 432 hectares (1,067 acres) near Fraserburgh. The mainly arable farm also has suckler cows and pullet rearing enterprises as well as four Enercon 800kW wind turbines. Peter is a Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland one-year director and is on the Ringlink board.

 

We are still very much in the meeting season, with arable agronomy the focus at the moment. I was left a bit frustrated at a meeting hosted by one of the big nationals when we were presented with topics which came from a generic ‘English’ presentation.

 

I know black-grass, yellow rust and wheat varieties are very pertinent subjects south of the border, but I am afraid they are not of much interest to me. 

 

I felt sorry for the presenters when very few questions were forthcoming, but it is better to know your audience where spring barley, rhynchosporium and herbicide-resistant chickweed are more relevent issues.

 

I left early, missing the free lunch, so it must have been bad.

 

Our DVLA lorry issue was resolved with no further action to be taken after my reply.

 

However, its letter ended with, ‘the decision relates only to the above mentioned report and not to any other alleged

offences for which you may also have been reported’. Not much of an apology then…

 

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