Tuesday, 13 September 2011

How we in the UK moan about the Weather (for no good reason)

Here in the UK we are feeling the tail end of hurricane Katia, it has swept across the Atlantic and it is clipping across northern England with 70 mph winds. For us down in the midlands (30 miles North West of Birmingham) we have had reportedly 50 mph wind. This is very rough weather for us with the temperature still mild for the time of year, think the average temperature this last month has been around 24C. (75F) It may have just touched a high of 30C. (86F.)  and down to a low of 18C. (64) 

As have mentioned before, we have been the driest area of Britain for the last three months, this last week we have had some sharp long shower that has greened the grass up for the cattle. As the clouds come in from the west they seem to be parted by the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdonia and then any rain clouds track north and south of us, were left high and dry. (well not very high)

We have an area of peat ground that been a god send for us, having mown it in late July for bale silage, and since has been grazed by the cows with calves.

Another thing , we are only 240 foot above sea level, the small village stream runs into the river Sow near the local town, then on into the river Trent all heading East and all slow flowing. ( sometime think if there were a very high tide, it would back up the rivers all the way back to the Midlands)

Here in UK if we get a bit of snow it stops all the traffic, that’s town/city traffic folk do not respect the fact they cannot stop, (until the cars bounce off each other ) we moan if its too wet, moan if its too dry  but in fact we should be grateful for living in such a mild and pleasant climate.

I have never realised how other farmers suffer and endure such extremes of weather, the very high temperatures and very low, the hurricanes and tornadoes, until I got to converse with other farmer in US.

If I drive east two hours or west we fall in the sea, that’s if the motorway is not blocked by an accident, it is said that traffic will back up 25 miles in less than half an hour, then all side roads and short cuts get blocked by the volume of vehicles finding alternative routes and often half a day to get dispersed again. 

I grow an area of Maize, which I grow for a neighbouring dairy farmer; he will be chopping it in a few weeks in time to go in his silage pit. Very little if any gets combined as grain maize in GB due to the damp weather in the back end, the grains would never mature. We do get some frost but never get any extremes like over the pond, I hear about combining maize in very frosty condition in US of A.

 Looking back to Maize, what is silking?, I know the silk tassels on the cob, but at what stage is the grain on the cob when you say it just silking,

Over here when the grains are at the cheesy stage the whole crop is cut for silage mainly to feed dairy cows.