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  1. kfpben

    Maincrop Turnips

    The farm shoot has been cancelled due to lack of birds and we aren’t in a wildlife agreement until 1st Jan so I have c.20 acres of various game covers and wildlife strips around the farm available now to do some proper farming with. I’m thinking of putting maincrop turnips in. Any thoughts or...
  2. kfpben

    Renting out a field for a wedding

    I’ve been approached to rent out a field for a wedding party. I vaguely know the bride’s mother as she lives in the village but don’t know the couple at all so no great desire to offer ‘mates rates’. 140 guests. Use of three phase electric. Some camping. Will need it for 4 days in early...
  3. kfpben

    Local Defence

    My employee and I were chatting about today’s horrendous news when vaccinating ewes today and reached the same conclusion- We need to look at forming local defence associations. Formulate plans in case of nuclear strike, identify safe(r) shelters, stockpile food and clean water on a local...
  4. kfpben

    Where is less Loony?

    Wife and I are early/mid 30s, living in the South of England and thinking about the future. Baby arriving soon all things being well. I’m a livestock farmer, she’s a farrier. Outside interests; cricket (me), horses (her), hunting (both). With the mounting lunacy in government with regards to...
  5. kfpben

    The future for crofting

    I spent a week travelling through the Western Isles recently. Skye, Harris and Lewis. As a farmer you can’t help but see a place through an agricultural lense. I found the crofting set up very interesting, endless small holdings of 2-15 acres, some with common grazing on the moor or hill...
  6. kfpben

    Lewis & Harris

    An e croitear a th’annaibh? Wife and I are heading up to Lewis and Harris next week, possibly via the Portree calf sales if she can be persuaded to ‘pop in for a cuppa…just for a look’. Is there anything we should see crofting wise? We are staying on the west side of Lewis. Peat cutting? Guga...
  7. kfpben

    Do the English just love a Toff?

    The successful, multi term winning U.K. Prime Ministers in the past few decades have mostly been very posh and getting posher. Do the English voters broadly love a toff? How else can we explain Rees-Mogg? Blair, PM for 3 terms, Fettes (the Eton of Scotland). Oxford. Brown. Not a toff. Defeated...
  8. kfpben

    Feed for laying hens

    My Mrs has a poultry empire of 45 hens which she feeds mixed corn and layers pellets which she gets delivered by the pallet from the local ag merchant. This seems a bit mixed up, given that we grow corn on the farm. What would be a good ration for laying hens? I have access to wheat, barley...
  9. kfpben

    Lamb skinning success rate

    I reckon my lamb skinning adoption success rate is about 20%. I spend a bit of time and effort making a nice wee jacket for a young orphan lamb only for the ewe to start battering it after a few minutes. Wet fostering is more like 90% success rate. Any tips to improve?
  10. kfpben

    Cattle for Salisbury Tomorrow

    Value my beasts... AA first cross out of dairy. Bought as milk calves. 8 Heifers 12-16 months 8 Steers 12 months Being sold tomorrow at Salisbury. Pics not the best- are they ever!?
  11. kfpben

    Snowploughing rates

    Did a bit of snowploughing yesterday. We are subbies for a large contractor who have the council contract for our patch. Last time we charged £38/hour flat rate. Too much? Too little? Does anyone else charge differently for nights, weekends etc? Only four hours work this time so no big deal...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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...
  20. 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...