What is soil sampling?

Soil sampling is the process of taking a small amount of soil and analysing its nutrient content which is essential for getting the most out of your soil when growing crops. The primary chemical needs of almost all crops include Ph, phosphorus and potassium. A soil sample would find if your soil was lacking, for example, in lime, allowing you to fix the issue in due time.

Other helpful information that comes out of a soil sample includes, but is not limited to, pH levels of the soil, humus content, available lime, complete sulphur content and total CaCO3.

All these contribute to the quality of your soil, and by sending off a small amount to a lab, you can have in-depth results delivered to your front door.

What are the advantages of contract farming?

Contract farming has many benefits both for the farmer and contractor and can benefit both parties.

For a farmer, contract farming can allow them to continue to be an active farmer without working the land themselves. Additionally, with most contractors providing their machinery, it means fewer costs for the farmer.

For contractors, it provides guaranteed work over the land and allows them to get increased income from providing a quality service.

What do farmers spray on fields?

Farmers spray a wide variety of things to help their crops thrive, free from pests and weeds. The most common treatments include insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, removing insects, pests and mould, respectively. These are often designed to keep the crops edible, preventing diseases from taking hold.

It’s also common for farmers to spray fertiliser, often slurry that’s rich in nutrients, on their fields to help plants grow strongly.

What is the difference between silage and haylage?

Silage is a type of animal feed that’s made from fermented grass. It has a moisture content of more than 40%. It’s made up of cut grasses and other pasture crops – like rye and maize – that is then pressed, fermented, and stored until it’s ready to be used. Typically, the product is stored for at least four weeks before it’s used to feed livestock. The high moisture content helps retain the nutritional value of the product.

On the other hand, haylage is young grass that is cut earlier than hay. Unlike hay (which is left to dry out entirely once cut), haylage is wrapped, retaining a moisture content of between 15 – 40%. Due to the reduced moisture content, some fermentation takes place, which helps preserve the product. The product is stored for 10-14 weeks before it is deemed ready to feed livestock.

Who is responsible for stock proof fencing?

Stock proof fencing is strong, durable and easy to install – and essential in keeping your livestock where they need to be!

On private land, it’s your responsibility (the livestock owner) to make sure your livestock is correctly enclosed with the appropriate fencing. If the land borders onto common ground, it remains your responsibility – you need to ensure your livestock can’t wander onto common land (or vice versa).

What is swathing in farming?

Swathing is the name given to the process of cutting crops and placing them in neat rows. A swather, using a sickle bar – or cutting discs – cuts the stems of the crops, which are then arranged nearly by a reel.

These rows are then held together using interlaced straws and held above ground by the remaining crop stubble, supporting the product.

How does contract farming work?

Contract farming agreements are joint ventures between registered contractors and landowners. Agricultural work can be carried out on the farmer’s land, over a fixed period. Farmers can take advantage of increased flexibility, seasonal services and new opportunities, while contractors can improve their working relationships, while taking advantage of new opportunities and ventures.

What is digestate?

Digestate is a nutrient-rich byproduct, formed through anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion involves a series of biological processes. Waste products – such as dairy produce, meat, fish, and crops (like grasses) – are broken down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. Digestate comes in three forms: whole, liquor, and fibre. Typically, digestate slurry (less than 5% dry product) is applied to suitable land during spreading periods.

What time of year do farmers spray pesticides?

Crop spraying typically begins after seeding is complete (between March and mid-June). Depending on the crop and the conditions, crops are sprayed regularly during the growing season. For many farmers, spraying is necessary to protect yields from pests and disease. When faced with a potential loss of product, crop spraying can be a highly economical solution for growers.