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Hello again,

May started very busy for me as not only were we busy on the farm, but I was also singing and dancing in a show for Northallerton Operatic Society, which involved me in many chorus numbers from musicals but I also sang a solo and a duet.  We had been rehearsing since January for the show, which had all been a lot of fun, and is something I greatly enjoy doing.  The show seemed to go down well with our audiences.

We were at the time very busy spraying our wheat and barley crops with weed killers, fungicides (to control and prevent diseases) and straw shortners which reduce the length of the straw which helps to strengthen the crop and hopefully stop it from falling over which can happen in heavy rain storms.  As we only have a small time window (usually 5-7 days) in which to spray the crops at the optimum time I had to get on with it regardless of the show.  As a full load of spray takes about 2 hours from the moment I start filling the sprayer up with water and chemicals, to the point at which I have sprayed out all the spray I had to try and time it so I had enough time to get ready to make is to the show without being too rushed.

Our tractor driver got back from his sick leave because of his knee operation at the start of May but then went away on his holidays at the end of May for two weeks.  Our pig man also had a week's holiday just before that so dad and I have been very busy whilst everyone else seemed to be on holiday.  We do not allow our employees to take any holiday during July and August as this is an extremely busy time for us, so they try to use up their holiday in May and the beginning of June when hopefully the weather is good and before we are too busy on the farm.

David who works for us and I spent a day down in Lincolnshire at a training course to learn how to use the many complicated functions of our new combine harvester.  As yet we haven't actually got our combine but at least we know how to use it.  Modern combines are computer controlled and it is a lot more complicated than our old one, so when it finally arrives we will have to sit on it and remind ourselves exactly what everything does. Our combine in comparison to some is quite small, but some of the biggest ones are so complicated that they drive themselves in the field, either by using lasers or even satellites to drive in a straight line!

We also needed to put more nitrogen on ours crops during May, especially our Maize which was sown right at the end of April.  This is the last application of nitrogen fertilizer to the main crops in the year.

Other than the usual activities of looking after the animals, mainly pigs and cattle May was a fairly quiet month for us in many respects, although I don't remember it feeling like that at the time.  I Cattle in the fieldspent a lot of time sat on the sprayer tractor spraying our crops, but without boring you by telling you exactly what I put on each field (which was pretty much the same thing on every field anyway!) I can't really tell you a lot more.

So I shall talk to you next month about our June activities.

Caerphilly County Borough Council
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