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  1. kfpben

    Levelling Up

    The Tories say they want to ‘Level up’ the country. Given the immense sacrifices made by the young in locking down to save the lives of the elderly the first thing the government should do is raise the pension age, cut the state pension, end free TV licences, free bus passes and other...
  2. kfpben

    Pony Grazing Rate

    Local riding school is turning out the riding cows for a couple of months following the recent lockdown and want to rent a field. What would you charge for grazing for 7 12-14 hand ponies? On well fenced, permanent pasture with water. Early thoughts are £30 per animal per week plus £30 per...
  3. kfpben

    DEFRA Sheep Census

    So DEFRA need us to report how many sheep we have as at 1st Dec. Apparently it’s more important to fill it in this year as it may be used to calculate any financial aid to the sheep sector forthcoming in the event of a no-deal. But at what time on the 1st December do we need to count? I sold a...
  4. kfpben

    Central Southern Milk Buyers

    I keep doing the sums as to how to create enough value in the farm to support myself, my wife, any kids we might have, ageing parents and two brothers who I am sure will want their share of things when the time comes. I think the current set up of 400ewes, calf rearing and some share farmed...
  5. kfpben

    The Only Show in the UK?

    This Sunday Hampshire Country Sports Day is going ahead near Petersfield - essentially a small show geared towards field sports with around 90 stands plus competitions, a main ring and ‘have a go areas’. Is it the only show to be going ahead in the UK this Summer? Everyone and their dog is...
  6. kfpben

    Bloat & Calves

    Just lost a nice, happily weaned Angus calf to effing bloat. Every year I have this issue but never seem to be able to sort it. Calves weaned as long as they can eat 2kg creep per day. Once weaned they are on 1.5kg 16% nut AM & PM plus ad lib barley straw. Fresh water. Does my nut in.
  7. kfpben

    Grazing fodder radish

    I have been offered an area of fodder radish that the neighbouring arable farmer planted as a cover crop. He wants it eaten off late Aug/September. Has anyone grazed sheep on fodder radish? Does it have much feed value? Better for lambs or dry ewes? Anything else I should be aware of? Thanks
  8. kfpben

    Dog Friendly B & B Dorset

    After a b & b / farmhouse annexe / somewhere nice to stay for two people and 3 friendly dogs in West Dorset 19-20th July. Anyone one on here have anywhere? Following the relaxation of the lockdown rules our wedding on the 18th July is going ahead in a low-key, DIY kind of way and it would be...
  9. kfpben

    The Next Step

    The annual 'Crikey the grass has grown come and graze my field' phone calls have started from the Stockbrokers and arable farmers of mid-Hampshire. This year it's different though- fewer folk asking me to graze 2 acre paddocks (which I decline unless they are very local and ram proof) and much...
  10. kfpben

    Frosted Silage

    I have a new ley about ready to cut. Weather looks dry for the next few days but turning very cold on Sunday, perhaps down to -2 overnight. What effect would a frost have on grass down before it is baled? Apart from that it’s 5 dry days ahead of us. Seems too good to miss. Going for round bale...
  11. kfpben

    The Future of the Industry...

    A lot of doom & gloom on here at the moment... So here’s a drone picture of our local young farmers who assembled 122 tractors on the 29th Dec for a tractor run. They have raised £10,000 and counting for Southampton Hospital’s intensive care unit. Crowds were 5 deep in places with onlookers...
  12. kfpben

    Ewes and Shooting

    There is a lady in the next village who has about 20 ewes who frets about them to the extent of paranoia. She's asking me to stop the shoot in the next field while her sheep are grazing in a certain paddock. The guns would be 150-300 yards away. This isn't going to happen as the shoot on our...
  13. kfpben

    Wayleaves for power/phone lines

    Every year we get a cheque for about £7.50 from SSE for a wayleave. After having a discussion with a neighbour I think we should be getting a lot more than this- we have about 11 poles in the middle of fields, plus more in hedgerows and one in the farm yard. What's the best way to go about...
  14. kfpben

    A leopard changes his spots?

    A pretty breathtaking statement from the head of Natural England, formerly vehemently against a badger cull. https://naturalengland.blog.gov.uk/2019/09/11/tony-juniper-the-badger-cull-and-natural-england/ Good to see evidence winning out over emotion.
  15. kfpben

    Grassing it Down

    For the third year on the bounce our contracted-out arable land has made almost no profit. 450 acres with bugger all to show for it. By contrast the livestock I have raised on 100 acres of grassland (50 acre good leys, 20 acre HLS rubbish, 30 acre old PP) plus a bit of rented pasture have...
  16. kfpben

    Farming as a Military Reservist

    I’ve been doing a bit of thinking recently (always dangerous) and reckon I need to come up with a Plan B in the event of a unfavourable no-deal scenario. Sheep and beef profits are pretty low as it is, take away our export market and subs and I suspect I’ll be looking at a big loss. So... has...
  17. kfpben

    Maize after Grass

    I’m looking to put some maize in for a neighbour next spring. It will be drilled after a grass ley that will have been in for 6 1/2 years. With the loss of seed dressings he’s worried about wire worm. Does anyone have any tips on how to avoid this? We could go in with another spring crop but...
  18. kfpben

    Village Cricket

    Village cricket. I honestly think it is the peak of human civilisation. We had our first game of the season yesterday. Freshly mown outfield and square. Beautiful setting, a great pub through the hedge, my cattle over the fence at ‘cow corner’. Dogs haring around. Young children playing on...
  19. kfpben

    Two Days to Shoot Pigeons!

    I see the general licence is being revoked from 25th April. You will now need to apply for individual licences to shoot pest species. Another great piece of news courtesy of Chris Packam
  20. kfpben

    Rates for a night lamber

    i have someone doing every fifth night for me so I don’t get completely sleep deprived, she starts tonight. Routine is checks/work every 4 hours 8pm-8am unless something particularly needs checking on. I reckon there is usually 3 hours proper work in that time, sometimes more, sometimes...

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