Langley Bottom Farm Update

Notes from the farm

In late June we managed to bale and safely store the first batch of our hay crop. As we have lost the barns at Langley Vale, we now have a much longer journey to other barns we have managed to rent writes Michael Jelley. This has significantly increased our costs and made what were long days into much longer days, working well into the night. However, the first batch yielded well and appears to be of good quality. June hay always smells and looks so much better than August hay.

Lambing went well this year, with most of the ewes that lambed producing twins. We were disappointed with the performance of one of our rams as he only managed to produce lambs from three of the twenty ewes he visited. However, the lambs we have are all growing well and enjoying the summer sunshine. We will wean them at the end of the summer and they will then graze the Woodland Trust’s meadows during the winter.

Our wheat at Langley Vale is just starting to die off, leading up to harvest in early August. You may have seen a large patch of purple weed in the field below the village – this is brome grass, a weed that is very difficult to control and will affect the quality of grain we have to sell. Hopefully we will be able to clean most of it out with the combine harvester as milling wheat is going to be in high demand this year, hopefully commanding a premium over wheat for animal feed. The fields will then be rested over winter before we sow malting barley in the spring. These winter months are used to control weeds, such as the brome and correct any nutrient levels in the soil.

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