April Showers?

After one of the wettest winters on record on the farm, we have now had the driest April ever.

Now, before you comment on farmers always complaining about the weather, or say, “Well, a wet winter and a dry spring, so it has all evened out. You have nothing to complain about.” Let’s look at what is happening on the ground, so to speak.

Firstly the wet winter of 2019/20 meant that a lot of fields were badly “poached” or damaged by livestock. Normally we would wait until the ground had dried out sufficiently that the tractor tyres didn’t mark it and then rolled. This year the hot dry weather came on so suddenly that, before we could complete rolling, the ground had dried out and was too hard. The old farmers used to say that the ground was too hard if you couldn’t mark it with the heel of your boot, and it was that within days this year!

Secondly, as an organic farm our grass grows more slowly than on those farms that use chemical fertilisers to stimulate growth artificially. This year the hot dry weather in April came just as our grass was starting to grow strongly and stopped its progress.

However, all is not lost. Remember the old adage – “March winds and April showers bring forth the May flowers”? This year the showers are hitting us that little bit later in early May, but they are still serving to bring forth both the flowers and the lush pasture that our animals depend on. At last, our grass is growing strongly.  Nature has a way of compensating….