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Hillmount Farm

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Farm planning 2023

What changes are people planning for the farm in 2023?


We have the following on the wishlist. Whether or not it will all happen is a different kettle of fish...


  • Introduce clean grazing system. Keeping a proportion of the farm sheep free and grazed by cattle only to create clean grazing for lambs following season

  • Increase stocking rate of cattle to get grazing impact.

  • Speed up the grazing rotation. Last year we were moving every 5-7 days. Hoping to do more like 3-4 days this year now we have better infrastructure.

  • Aim to finish lambs off clover leys only to mitigate any bloat risks. We have 10 acres already established and another 20 to come and hopefully 90 lambs to finish.

  • Stitch in clover to existing recently reseeded pastures with low weed burden. Aiming to do around 20 acres.

  • Plough and reseed 5 acres. The dream would be Oat/Pea wholecrop undersown with multispecies. The reality is its one of our heaviest clay fields, pH 5.5 and grows docks and rushes for fun. So may have to go straight to grass first before getting too experimental.

  • Panic less about weed control, although the docks are absolutely flying now with this warm weather!

  • Continue to apply lime on our sub 6pH fields

  • Apply compost to 6 acre grazing field and compare response to slurry

  • Establish EFS options. 1ha winter bird mix, 100m hedge and 150m tree strip. Discovered we have about 10ha we can rotate the winter bird mix on so hoping to use it as a cocktail cover crop soil improver before sowing in behind it to MSS or into cereals or fodder crops.

  • FEC both cattle and sheep. We have been FEC testing the sheep but not the cattle. Need to do both to reduce impact on soil biology.


What are other peoples plans for the season ahead?

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