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Why would a farmer do this?

randpwar
Grafter
Posts: 1,308
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Why would a farmer do this?

Fields surrounding the village we live were ploughed a good 3 weeks ago with 7 or so metres of field left around the outside of each field untouched. Whilst I was out walking the dog yesterday I watched the parts of the fields that were left now being ploughed. Why would he prepare a field in this way; did it help drainage?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Why would a farmer do this?

Probably because he forgot that the grant for leaving the edge unploughed had been removed (it was called a buffer strip and was used to encourage wild life)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Why would a farmer do this?

when he's planted his crop, throw some wild seeds over the hedge onto that strip to give the wildlife a chance.  you won't be able to throw far and the growth might serve to remind him that there is more to agriculture than merely growing crop.
TicnTac
Grafter
Posts: 426
Registered: 03-08-2010

Re: Why would a farmer do this?

A few farms I worked at had the combine results through to show that it proved to be of no benefit what so ever for planting, ie. the profit margin of labour / machinery / seed rate / fert / harvest costs meant that it was pointless to cultivate / seed / harvest. This was normally due to hedgerows sucking too much out of the surrounding soil, poor drainage, or compaction, it also meant that a thoroughfare was kept, that horsie folks and doggy walkies could enjoy!
However the new single payment scheme does allow for certain areas set aside (nothing like set aside used to be), these areas can be point scored, and eventually could raise a few thousand pounds in subsidy payments. I've seen some farmers claim for a large puddle and classed it as a natural pond!  Roll eyes
It could have been too wet, or they were not very good at headland ploughing, might even to a minimal cultivation forage crop, or even another reason, next time you see them in a tractor, especially if it is green as says John Deere, wave at them, and ask, I'm sure they'd be happy to answer, if it's blue, better not, they'll be grumpy!!?  Roll eyes
randpwar
Grafter
Posts: 1,308
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Why would a farmer do this?

Sorry to resurrect this one but I walked the dog with a farmer mate of mine last night and he reckons that when they have a number of fields to get done, within a window of good/ dry weather, they will always get the majority of all the fields ploughed by leaving this headland. Knowing that time was limited by the weather he would have ended up with some completely unploughed fields had he tried to fully complete one field before going on to the next; the edges are fiddly and take time to get right. This allows the farmer several options; if the weather stays dry then he can finish the fields off, if not, then he can use the headland to cut hedges etc and finish off ploughing during the next dry spell (which is what happened with ‘my, well, the dogs actually’ fields) and if he never gets the chance to finish ploughing, well, then the majority of his fields have been ploughed with none left untouched.
Like I say, I hope no-one minds me bringing this one back up; I thought my mate’s answer was sensible and logical and I’m sure was what actually happened; just thought you might be interested    Smiley