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There has been a lot of talk recently about reducing intake of red meat, almost by default absolving pigs and poultry, (which have millions of acres of crops grown specifically for them on prime agricultural land), from any of the climate change issues. Whilst it may be desirable to substantially reduce our meat consumption, we still need to grow the crops necessary for our survival. The hills may best be re-afforested to a large extent but the lowlands are definitely needed for crop production. Here is an integrated approach to this. These sheep are grazing on stubble turnips that have been planted for them in late August , after taking off the previous crop of wheat. They are manuring the ground over the winter ready for the following crop to be planted in a few weeks time, so there is not only no loss of arable cropping but there is the added benefit of increased soil fertility and reduction in the need for artificial fertilisers. Also, guess where all the winter farmland birds are to be found? Starlings love fields where sheep graze. We also saw over 200 Linnets on this sheep field, loving the churning up of the soil and release of small seeds, since the field was not ploughed, the stubble turnips being planted directly into the stubble as the name suggests. Enjoy your porridge for breakfast but please continue to enjoy a leg of lamb for Sunday lunch! If you wish to see the new season's young lambs and pick them up then Rand Farm, near Wragby, is a good day out from Hilltop Farm.
Published by Charles Overton at February 3, 2019, 10:35 am