Thriplow Farms Annual Report XLIII – 2016: Flattering to deceive

So, the first year without any cattle of my own – and life was a lot less stressful. But that didn’t mean we had no cows, as for the second year a bunch of small dairy cattle turned up to graze for the summer. And to be honest, they did terribly. We can do the post mortem a couple of pages further on, but to begin with everything was poor, only to look much better later on, and then finally the end result was a disappointment. This would also be a pretty good way of describing the rest of the farm this year.

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3 thoughts on “Thriplow Farms Annual Report XLIII – 2016: Flattering to deceive

    • I don’t know. There were very distinct BYDV patches, and that ear came from one of them. Is it possible to have the BYDV weaken a plant so it then becomes more susceptible to fungal disease?

  1. Dear David WalstonI I enjoy your annual reports and this year was interested to hear how your change to minimum tillage is probably causing large mollusc populations. Were you able to roll the sown seedbeds tight? In my experience this helps to reduce slug activity. The other problem that I have found often builds up under minimum tillage is compaction which requires occasional loosening – but I expect you have this risk in hand.
    You mention a field boundary delineating a substantial difference in rape yield and suggest that soil borne disease or nutrient differences as possible causes. Another possible cause is difference in the physical condition of the topsoil/subsoil, eg. draughtiness and/or compaction; there was usually a good reason for field divisions.
    Kind regards
    Bryan Davies
    Former ADAS Regional Soil Scientist in Cambridge.

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