Spring Time on the farm at Overbury

Spring Time on the farm at Overbury

Our Farm Manager Jake Freestone gives us an update on what is happening on the farm.  Barley, wheat, sheep and the weather.

As spring comes to an end for 2020 we take look back with our Farm Manager Jake on what he & his team have been busy working on.
 
One of the biggest things that comes to mind when you think of spring is all of that new life. Our lambs are growing well & have had their first vaccinations. We are sure everyone has enjoyed seeing them out in the fields. At Overbury we rotationally graze larger groups of sheep to rest the paddocks for longer between grazings…. This means you may not see any sheep for a while then out of the blue hundreds will turn up all at once.
 
Much of the grain has now been moved from Middle Barn & has headed to Manchester & Frampton, depending on who it was sold too. It will be made into flour & then baked into bread. One silver lining of recent events is the rise in people baking which has meant an increase in demand for flour. It would be lovely to think the ressurchance in home baking has in turn meant more people buying British flour…. Backing British Farming.
 
The weather is certainly the driving thoughts of the farming community at the moment. Although the glorious sunshine has been fantastic for people during this Covid-19 time it means more work on the farm to maintain the crops. With such little rain in recent weeks the team have been busy watering some of the fields. This will be ongoing for the next few weeks until we get some rainfall. Jake was able to use spring water from the hill to irrigate the spring barley yesterday… giving it 20mm of rain it so desperately needed.
 


Farming is an ever evolving science and just trying to predict & react to the weather is a job in itself. Over the past 10 years you can see the difference in the amount of rain there has been.
 
2019 - 774.4mm
2018 - 577.2mm
2017 - 523.4mm
2016 - 570.8mm
2015 - 599.4mm
2014 - 829.2mm
2013 - 700mm
2012 - 1004mm 
2011 - 495.4mm
2010 - 632.1mm
2009 - 806.5mm
 
If we even just compare the start of this year to 2019 we can see the huge differences in not just the amount of rainfall, but in which months it happens. Take February for instance in  2019 there was 29.2mm of rain however this year in February there was 83.8mm of rain. As we are nearing the end of the month it will be interesting to compare May’s rainfall to last year. Although the spring planting is almost complete, the colder weather, coupled with the drought is reducing crop growth & ultimately the yields.
 
We would like to thank Overbury, as a community, for its unwavering support over the last few difficult weeks which has allowed us to carry on as normal with spring drilling & lambing.

Why not catch Jake live on the virtual Open Farm Sunday #LOFS20 at breakfast time live streaming on Facebook (9AM) on Sunday 7th June.  Like LEAF's Open Farm Sunday Facebook page and follow the links.  Otherwise more information from the Open Farm Sunday Webpage