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March 16, 2017 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley farming news

2017 calves in Apley Park

Planting potatoes at sunset (Wrekin in the distance) (you can just about make out the tractor in the middle of the photo!)

Tractor ploughing in beef manure, before planting potatoes

I just caught up with Adrian Joynt, Apley Estate Farm Manager. He & his men are busy calving 196 cows, drilling* spring barley & fertilising grassland & crops.

The Apley Estate manages the countryside surrounding Apley Farm Shop. It supplies beef directly to the farm shop from our own herd as well as that of one our tenant farmers, Paul Pennington. Click HERE to see a film about how Paul manages his award-winning herd of British White Cattle, less than 1 mile from Apley Farm Shop where the beef is sold on the Apley Butchery counter.

The first of the calves are already out in the fields. It can sometimes be a little risky getting up really close, in case the cow gets over-protective of her calf, so my photos are rather distant !

A contract farmer on the edge of the estate was ploughing a field on Sunday into which he planted seed potatoes yesterday. The field had already had beef manure (straw & muck from cow sheds, as the cows have been wintered in barns) spread on it last week, so that got ploughed into the soil on Sunday, fertilising it.

Another ‘grazing tenant’ farmer who rents land from us for his sheep in the winter months, has them grazing on fields of stubble turnips, which now look rather muddy.

*Drilling is another term for sowing & this is how it happens: As the tractor goes round the field with a drill attached to the back of it, the drill cuts a slot in the soil, drops in a seed & then covers it.

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