Despite the bad weather, I am reasonably well up to date with my farm work. All second-cut silage is in and all my slurry is out.
I usually spread my own slurry in the summer time, but with poor ground conditions and a fair cover of grass on the ground to be spread, I just got my contractor back with the pipeline and trailing shoe.
I also managed to get my second field of red clover sowed, albeit a month after the field was burned.
The field was burned off on 11 July, but due to the weather, there wasn’t a chance to get it sowed until 9 August.
The plan was always to burn off, subsoil and stitch in the new grass seed and it’s a good job, because I think If I had intended to plough, it still might not be sowed.
As it was so long from burning to sowing, the field was just starting to green up again. It looked grand from a distance, but when I walked through the field and really looked, there were plenty of tiny green shoots appearing.
Weeds probably wouldn’t be a huge problem, but there was grass coming also and that really is a problem. The last thing you want is weed grass growing in a reseed, as there is obviously no way to get rid of it without getting rid of your new grass.
Bad enough if they both germinate at the same time, but you’d be hoping the new grass would out-compete the weed grass and smother it. But if the weed grass gets a two-week headstart, then you’re only asking for trouble.
Anyway, I decided that to avoid disaster, the field needed another half rate of glyphosate.
But seeing as we were in the middle of a couple of dry days for the first time in God knows how long, the contractor who usually does my spraying was flat out cutting silage and every other contractor was in the same boat.
I do have my own quad sprayer and booms, but starting to spray seven acres with a 100-litre tank and three-metre booms was not filling me with delight.
But thanks to a kindly neighbour who pulled me out at very short notice, I managed to get the job done the night before sowing.
The grass was sowed with a unidrill machine, which cuts a slit and puts the seed in the ground - this method of sowing was a bit of an experiment for me.
I know very good results can be achieved with just grass seed, but I’d heard mixed reports on clover seed being stitched. However, two and a half weeks down the line and grass and clover seem to be coming nicely, except for a small wet spot. There was about 10m2 that was too wet to sow.
We left enough of grass seed to sow by hand when things dried out. Sadly, things have not yet dried out, so I can see this bit having to be sorted next spring.