It’s August for our farmers this week as Rare Breed - A Farming Year continues on UTV on Tuesday (7th March) at 7.30pm.
In Ballyclare, Co.Antrim, Michael and Norman Robson are scanning the seven cows they implanted embryos into six weeks ago however the result isn’t looking good, as only one is pregnant.
Norman says: “It’s a bit disappointing but you can get lucky sometimes and unlucky for others.”
The Robsons is a family farm built over generations. Brothers, Michael and Norman share the workload, Norman says: “Our father gave us the responsibility to tear on rather than working under him, not many farms are run like that...I know I’ve never wanted to do anything else.”
Near Strabane, Co Tyrone farmer Tynan Roulston is working on his fields by spiking the land. Spiking breaks up the surface allowing nutrients to be absorbed and also helps drainage. Tynan explains: “During the summer, it’s one of those jobs you try to get done. It relieves the compaction in the ground as grass will not grow if the soil is compacted. I should benefit, saving on fertiliser by trying to use all the available nutrients.”
In Craigavon, Co. Armagh, Scott Lilburn is racing to harvest his queen potatoes. Due to the unpredictable weather and tracked fields adding to the struggle, they are two weeks behind on last year. It could mean some long days ahead, Scott says: “Your schedule is a balancing act due to the weather. Everything needs to be done on the dry days, which can lead to be a very long working day.”
In Comber, Co. Down vegetable farmer James McKee is being paid a visit by a consultant. He employs the expert to scrutinise his crops and advise on every aspect of crop management. James says: “He has made an invaluable change to our business with a drastic change to our crops and the way we grow our crops.” The expert explains: “It is about maximising the farm’s packable yield, getting as much of the crop as we can into the supermarket and in as perfect condition for the customer as possible.”
UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series, which is sponsored by Dale Farm. Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Tuesday (7 March) at 7.30pm on UTV.