Wednesday 6th April 2022
With the colder days behind us, we’re getting excited about this new season on the farm! So, we headed down to the Yeo Valley farm to get the latest update…
Being organic farmers, we don’t use chemical fertilisers or artificial pesticides to enrich our soils. Instead, we collect the organic manure and slurry from our cows. We separate the slurry, removing the solids which in turn get composted and the liquid is applied to our grazing and silage grounds. This natural fertiliser is high in nutrients which helps keep our soils healthy and producing good quality crops. It’s our way of feeding the soil!
Now that the days are warmer, and drier, our cows are outside during the day (it’s still a bit cold at night for them!). Spring grass is high in energy and protein, we also feed them fibre through the silage that we stored over winter. The perfect combination to keep our cows healthy and producing delicious organic milk! You can read more about our silage process here.
Our fields are not only used for grazing our cows, we grow a wide range of crops to help keep our soil packed full of nutrients. Over winter we use cover crops to protect the soil and stop weeds growing. It’s perfect grazing for our sheep too! Any crop we planted last Autumn will start to grow again after being dormant for the colder months. We’ll also start planting more crops in the coming weeks now that we’ve finished spreading the liquid and compost.
To ensure we get the best quality soil for our crops we’re aerating our soil. This essentially means getting oxygen into the soil by making slits in the ground. It’s great for soil health as it allows the water to drain more freely and supports grass growth too.
With our cows back out in the fields it’s important to inspect the fences and make sure everything is as it should be. Over the winter months it’s common for posts to get rotten or snap over. By checking these fences, we can also make sure we have the right sized paddocks for our different herd sizes. This ensures we can rotate the herd around our fields, so they always have access to luscious grass.
At Yeo Valley, farming organically is part of our history. By using natural methods, like utilising organic manure and slurry and planting cover crops, we can farm in a way that keeps the local environment as healthy as possible. Each animal, crop, and teaspoon of soil plays an important role in the ecosystem of the farm.