Philip King
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British farmers are busy every day of the year. From general maintenance, to lambing season, tending crops to looking after livestock, a farmer’s work is never done. Thanks to the hard work of British farmers, we are able to enjoy seasonal food throughout the entirety of the year. If local produce is something you might be interested in, weekly farmers markets are frequently taking place in villages and towns up and down the country.


For arable farmers, the beginning of the year in January is a time to begin the spreading of slurry to prepare for the hay or silage that will be collected later on in the year. The frosty period here is useful because it makes the fields firmer. On farms that have livestock, any calves that are present will be successfully weaned towards the backend of the month onto sugar beet ration and concentrates, while sheep will be fed sheep nuts and sugar beet daily.

Towards the end of February the calving season begins, and temperatures aren’t quite as chilly as they were in December and January. Calving then seriously gets underway in March, which is the busiest time of the year for farming. The beginning of March also brings with it the lambing season as well. These lambs and ewes will often need constant attention, so farmers are usually getting sleepless nights around this time. Ewes will then be sorted into different lambing groups, vaccinated, and trimmed.

Slurry will also continue to be spread throughout the whole of March, and the sowing (or drilling) of the sugar beet will happen during this month too. Crop-spraying and fertilising are also important.


The main priority through April will still remain calving, which goes on until mid-May. All calves will also have their ears tagged and assigned passports for identity reasons. Lambing is usually finished by the end of April. The month will also see fertiliser being spread across the grazing fields to aid in the spring growth, which will then be cut for silage and hay later in the year.

During May, the livestock will then be stopped from grazing the fields of silage, and fertiliser is neatly spread to allow for six weeks of subsequent growth before silaging happens. Lambs will have their tails cut in order to stop flies from laying their eggs in the sheep’s wool and birthing maggots that can eventually lead to death. Many of these lambs will be castrated by May.

Muck and fertiliser spreading will continue to happen during May, and a number of crops (such as cereals, peas, sugar beet and potatoes) will then be sprayed.


Silage collecting and haymaking continues, with baling a vitally important component. Round bales will typically be given to cattle while square ones are given to feed horses. In August, silage remains a priority and combine harvesters will be the main tools used for harvesting crops. The lambs that are born in spring will be weaned throughout August and September and will then be back out again in the fields. Lambs will be grazing on grass after the silaging process is done, which is otherwise known as aftermath grazing.

Harvesting a variety of crops remains a central aspect of the farmyard as the end of summer approaches. General cultivations and ploughing will restart around this time. While the lambs of the year are still in the weaning phase from their mother’s milk to food, and focus then turns into preparation for auctions and the ewes.


October will see the turn of the year’s calves for weaning. They are also being put back into barns around this time of the year before temperatures drop further. Ewes will then be dipped to avoid infection, and their wool clipped around their tail area. This ensures that the sheep are ready for mating season.  

The primary jobs in an arable context for this time of year are the drilling and cultivation of the winter wheat, to prepare for the following year’s crop yield. Farmers are also often asked to aid in hedge cutting on countryside roads, and this often continues until March.

Farms will start feeding their livestock much more as winter begins to unfold because around this time of the year the grass will stop growing and deteriorate in quality. On cattle farms, the male calves will face castration before frost sets in. Towards the backend of the year, a number of ram sales will happen, and corn will tend to be sold around this time.

If you're thinking about how to maximise your yields and profits from your land or farm, then speak to us at King Agriculture about our Farm Agreements. Our aim is to be an innovative and progressive agricultural business helping people achieve a more sustainable farming future. Today King Agriculture are responsible for 1,400 acres of combinable crops, produce up to 30,000 bales and process around 10,000 tonnes of biomass wood chip per year. Please don't hesitate to call us on 07860 302841 or take a look at our website