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My field record/diary


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At the risk of a lot of people laughing ::) I thought I'd share with you (well anyone with the patience to read this ::)) a bit of a record or diary of my field.

Warning: this may bore and/or appal a lot of people! ;)

I have the use of a 1.5 acre (approx) field (soil type is fairly sandy, well meadow land really) which includes wide, thick, dense hedges, a pond/pit, some heaps of spoil from building footings and an area with this 'mess' spread on it, an old ditch down the centre splitting it into 2 strips, and a large population of rabbits.

As there is a lot of land 'wasted' by all the above, only about an acre can actually be cultivated nicely.

Last year was a failure because of the rabbits so this year I had some people with ferrets come to try and sort them out; they got 30. After this I got 5 more by trapping.

This year I decided to try and grow Cocktail spring barley for feed.

Last year I hadn't ploughed it myself so this year I bought a 1980s? 3f Rabe-Werk hawk plough to use.

After waiting for too long for someone to come and spray it with glyphosate, and them not coming, and the weather finally drying up, I finally got round to ploughing it late February.

So I went to the field with my Belarus MTZ-82 and the Rabe in the hope of starting ploughing, only to find that the hydraulic pipe to the spool had split (tractor side) as it was rather old :P. As I wanted to get on I decided to put the transport lock back on and use it as a conventional plough ploughing in rounds. This went nicely, the tractor pulling well :D. After a few rounds though the oil was hot and the leak started to get worse so I stopped. However (at the risks of more laughing :-[) the steering had a few problems on the way back that couldn't be easily fixed so I gave up with that tractor for the time being until I had the time to mend it.

MTZ-82 ploughing (pic taken by a friend):


After trying to find ways round the problem of how to plough the rest (contractors, borrowing tractors, etc.) I borrowed an MF 690 from a local farmer. I wasn't too sure that it would be ok on the 3f in the wet being 2wd, but it was worth a shot.

Luckily it wasn't too wet (10 March by now! ::):-[) and it went ok, despite a fair bit of scrapping (diff lock didn't work :P).

Some pics of the MF ploughing:



More at:


After this it looked pretty good (hadn't been ploughed since 1957!) and I hoped for rain so that once it dried out again it would break down nicely. After 5 days though and no rain forecast I got itchy feet and decided it would be best to drill it now (while there was still some moisture in the soil) and let the rain (when it came) give it a good soaking in.

So on 15 March I started with my 29hp Belarus 250 and a set of heavy harrows. I have a set of 7 on a carriage with fold down wings (that I started to paint but never finished as I needed to use them ::)) but as it was still so rough and with only 2wd and 29hp and 10inch wide tyres I thought it was best to only use 3.

This went well with most of it harrowed once, the headlands, any rough pieces, and sides twice.

A few photos:



One half/side:


The other:


Although the seed bed was not perfect it would do. So in the afternoon I drilled it with Cocktail spring barley using the 250 again (its nice and light) and my 3m Ransomes-Nordsten Lift-o-matic cultivator drill. Seed rate was approx 350 kg/ha ::) (it wasn't/won't be sprayed so I wanted it thick to smother weeds).

Pics (taken once it was finished just going back to drop off the drill):


Drill almost empty:





As my drill has no following tines left on it that are any use (bought like it ;)) I needed to harrow in the barley, which I did the same afternoon again with the 250, but this time with a set of old seed harrows which I must say did a nice job :P.


The finished article:



By 7 April it was nicely up and I spread 17-17-17 fertiliser on it (@ 284 kg/ha) with an MF 590 and Amazone spreader borrowed from work.


On 14 April I spread nitrogen on at 246 kg/ha to give it a boost (away from the remaining rabbits), again with the 590:


By 30 April it was looking ok, a bit patchy but that I expected and can live with:

Left side:


Right side:


Hawk eyes bird scarer:


And today it had its flag leaves nicely out with a few awns poking out of the tops:






I hope I haven't bored too many people ::):D:P:-[

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Very good Chris, think the seed rate was a bit low though ::);D Never heard of cocktail barley, c0cktail I have though :D :D

At least you have some parts books for your tractors :P :P

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Very good Chris, think the seed rate was a bit low though ::);D Never heard of Willytail barley, c0cktail I have though :D :D

At least you have some parts books for your tractors :P :P

Indeed, should maybe have upped it a little... ::) ::)::)

Very well spotted ;D I missed that! C0cktail indeed!

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yea keep it up Belarusfan looking good not boring at all

did you mend the first Belarus MTZ-82

or is she still in the repair bay ;)

the MTZ-82 is being mended at the moment ;) Semi-done :)

That is not boring at all. Really intersting for me as a non-farming member!

Keep up the dairy for the rest of the year.

Good luck.

Will do :)

A really interresting post,it feels so good to work the land and see the crop growing doesn,t it

Thanks :) It does indeed :)

Really good post!

Seed rate low or not, it looks like it's turned out to be a good thick crop.  ;)

What are you going to harvest it with?

I'll hopefully cut it with my combine which is a 4 ft cut, 1980s, Austrian, Walter und Wintersteiger Seedmaster Universal hydrostatic plot combine :D:P :P It was originally 1 of 3 used by a plant breeders, though sadly the other 2 got scrapped. So harvest will be rather 'interesting'... ::) I'll take plenty of photos of course ;)

A few pics of the combine:




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Wow I envy you to say the least, I mean you must be commited to buy all that kit. Well done and please keep this post updated this summer. :)

Well he should be commited anyway with his love of Belarus's ::);D:D :D ;)

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you got quite a bit of stuff for only 1 acre :-:) well done mate  :)looks a tidy crop  :)

I guess you could say that, though most bits I have are the same as those for an area of say 15-30 acres yet I still need them for only 1 :) Didn't really put that into words

An interesting account on farming Chris, would be interesting to see more of these posts as the farming season progresses on  :)

very well but I know what I mean ::):D::)

Thnaks CCF :) I'll keep updating it as it changes :)

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You are lucky to be getting away without spraying that C0cktail because there was many sad farmers over here last year as it yielded very poorly as full rates of fungicide weren't used :(

Tidy bit of ploughing there mate ;)

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tell you what mate, its great to see somebody using lovley old kit like that, and working it hard to, not just showing the stuff, lovley set of pics there, and really looking forward to the harvest ones,

Thanks :)

You are lucky to be getting away without spraying that C0cktail because there was many sad farmers over here last year as it yielded very poorly as full rates of fungicide weren't used :(

Tidy bit of ploughing there mate ;)

It seems reasonably clean, though there's a bit of brown rust and some nasty mildew in places, on a couple of flag leaves too :-[:-\ Mind you, the yield loss is compensated for by not having to shell out for the sprays ::)

A bit of an update, today about 1/3 of it is showing its ears nicely, with another 1/3 showing awns and the other 1/3 only at flag leaf stage...  ...you can see how much attention each part received from the rabbits ::)





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