In many ways we are grateful for the all the rain we have in this country. Without it, we certainly wouldn’t be able to grow the lush green grass to feed our cows. But, I think we got more than our fair share in 2012 and we are finding ‘wet spots’ in a number of fields. Investigation into one of these this morning revealed a blockage in our old land drains. Well, they have been working away down there, about three feet beneath the surface, for over 40 years and are still in pretty good shape.
Land drainage used to be heavily subsidised when I were a lad and I spent a year working for a land drainage company, breathing new life into soggy fields that historically grew little more than rushes and weeds. Today, the cost of draining entire fields is too expensive to contemplate, given the returns from farming. So, we do our best to preserve what was laid by our forebears.
In order to graze our cows as widely as possible and for as long as possible each year it is essential that we have freely draining soils and good access via a network of hard tracks. As I have said many times before, grass is a very cheap feed. But, ensuring we use it effectively requires careful management all year round – grass doesn’t grow on trees you know!