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Earth Day 2021 - Spring Ploughing

on April 22, 2021

Today at Fussels we are celebrating Earth Day and what better day than to be turning the soil early on a beautiful sunny morning with clear blue skies.

This field, showing in the photo above, is named Ten Acres, as it is just that! A small field surrounded by established hedges and a public footpath on two sides, one being a ‘covered hedge’. It sits close to the Somerset Village of Rode and is owned by Andy Fussell of Fussell Farms; a third-generation farmer who is very passionate about the land, particularly the soil.

In the Autumn this field was put down to stubble turnips for a local Sheep Farmer for his store lambs to feast and fatten. Stubble Turnips are a great break crop for farmers and an early food source for the stock lambs. When the sheep have finished feasting, the ground is then prepared with a measured amount of farmyard manure (which is ploughed in) ready for the next crop, Forage Maize, which Andy grows for a local cattle farmer, for cattle feed. This will be drilled in late April, early May for harvest in September/October, all weather dependent!

See Shaun in action, CLICK HERE to watch a short video on our YouTube Channel.

There is a skill to ploughing which only comes with experience and knowledge of the undulation of the land. On the video you can see our experienced Farm Manager ploughing a straight furrow. Much is done by eye.

When ploughing, it is important not to place the plough into the soil too deep as we don’t want to disturb dormant seed that will flourish when brought to the surface and into the light! The furrow depth is approximately 10cm deep, and can be set from the cab. At the moment, due to the lack of rain, the soil is compacted, cracked and dry and so it was slow going, but with some new blades on the plough and the power of our Fendt 720 Tractor, the job was completed.

The ploughed field will first be rolled, which will break up the soil and consolidate the moisture followed by the Power Harrow over the rolled ground to break it up a bit more, ready for the precision Maize Drill, which is a specialist piece of kit. And then we wait …….

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