We seem to be dropping into a two week weather cycle now. Since my last posting we have had another fortnight of sweltering hot and sunny weather which broke down a day ago with a brief storm. As I write this, today is forecast to be very wet all day although it has yet to start, but we remain in hope.
The harvest is coming to a close now, with just the bales to be collected off the fields and stored in outside stacks or in barns.
These corn straw bales illustrate the way that cereal straw tends to be baled here on Sheppey, while the rape straw is baled in large square bales.
One of the large rape stubble fields left after harvesting, note the dust dry soil.
In my last post I mentioned how dry sewerage material is collected by the farmers and spread as a manure, well below is a second by-product material that is currently being spread across the stubble fields, prior to cultivations. It is gypsum from a local plasterboard factory and can help clay soils, such as we have, stay more open and viable.
Here you see stubbles having the top few inches of the soil broken up prior to later seed sowing, these were rape stubbles that will later be sown with wheat, or possibly barley. Note the dust from the dry ground following the tractor.
The game shooting season is only a couple of months away and this week saw the first arrival of several thousand young pheasants that will be introduced to numerous pens around the marsh. They have access to and from the pens via small openings and spend a lot of the day foraging nearby before going back into the pens at night to be safe from the local foxes.