WTFIH @ Thriplow Farms, March 2016

Welcome to the first instalment of WTFIH @ Thriplow Farm. This is going to be a short monthly blog to keep people posted on what is happening at a given point in the year. It came about because I was asked (Ok, actually I volunteered) to write a few hundred words for the local monthly newsletter, aimed at satisfying the curiosity of our neighbours who sometimes look out of their windows/over the fence and think WTF is that tractor doing? However, it will be a decidedly non-technical sort of thing, so probably of no interest to farmers. You have been warned.

OK, let’s get going. March is the month when the farm starts to wake up after the winter hibernation. The first job is applying nitrogen fertiliser to the crops. We start off by putting a little bit on the wheat that was drilled late in the Autumn or the early winter, then we move onto the oilseed rape and barley, which get half their total dose. Finally, around the second or third week of the month, we get on to the main bulk of wheat, which was planted in September 2015. This is when we really start to get busy, because at the same time we will have to start thinking about planting peas, beans, oats and barley – all depending on the weather. On top of that, as the weather warms up so the plants will start to become at risk of attack from fungal diseases, so that really needs protecting against too.

When we can’t work in the fields, then there are a few other bits that need doing. Next month some cows will arrive to graze our pastures, so the fences need to be mended. And there is always something really exciting to be made in the workshop; who doesn’t love a good mudguard?

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If you want to see which fields are which, and what’s in them, take a look on our map page here.

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