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An Insight Into Farming: What’s Changed?

At Grazers our family has always been involved in farming and over the years we’ve seen so many changes. The evolution is staggering and we’re excited to see what the future brings.

 

The fundamentals of farming will almost always stay the same, however the process and procedure of obtaining the desired outcome will evolve in line with shifts in technology, economy and law. In this article, we will explore how farming has changed, and potentially where it may in the near future

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Machinery

 

One of the biggest and most notable shifts in the farming industry has been down to the advancement of machinery. Gone are the days where you would need a large work force to plough and harvest, whereas now it can come to a one-man job.

 

This has obviously had an effect on the need for physical man-power and labour costs –  a positive and negative, respectively. What are your thoughts on technology?

 

Weather

 

The good old British weather has a direct impact on farming, but perhaps not so much today as in decades’ past. When the warmer weather hit, extra hands were hired to collect the cut hay as it needed to be as dry as possible. Now, the gathering and baling of hay is almost always done by machine, reducing the cost of labour and risk. That said, the impact of global warming and extreme weather patterns provides many of us with concerns.

 

Competition

 

Over the past 50 years or so, farming has become more specialised. Due to supply and demand farmers now compete on a global scale so increasing in size to maximise farm efficiency . In past years’ farms were mixed ie. producing crops and livestock in a rotation for local markets.

 

Due to this farms are generally much larger than they used to be. Methods of pig and sheep farming has changed significantly due to this increase of demand, and the results of this are evident even to the consumer. Try and buy some mutton from your butcher! You’ll find it’s lamb!

 

 

Brexit

 

The most recent major shift for most UK industries has been the vote to leave the European Union. This will most certainly affect the agricultural sector, and dependant on which side of the fence you sit on will determine your view. The results of the vote will only be evident with time, and we hope it will be positive!

 

We’re fascinated with the changes in agriculture and the potential for further development in the UK. At Grazers we are huge fans of Integrated pest management which is becoming an increasingly more prevalent factor in farming strategy. Please feel free to contact us for more information about how we can help.

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Who’s That Pest? It’s Deer.

In this series of articles, we will be looking into a variety of pests, some common, and others not-so common. We will take an insight into their instinctual behaviour, animalistic habits, seasonal differences and of course, what they can do to your crops or garden if unchecked!

 

To start off this series, we’ll look into one of the more common pests here in the UK and abroad; the magnificent but potentially devastating deer!

 

Wild animals are what make nature so wonderful to watch, and it is important we find ways to comfortably coexist in the best interest of humans and animals. Deer are a fantastic example of how this is possible, especially being a pest on the larger end of the scale.

Diet

The diet of the deer varies dramatically dependent on the season. During the early, warmer parts of the year in Spring and Summer, deer tend to graze on grasses which contain necessary levels of protein for the deer to stay healthy. During autumn, deer will look for more substantial food sources which will provide them with the necessary fats to see out the colder months.

 

Reproduction

 

The mating season, known as the rut, takes place in late July and August – usually the warmest time of the year. The kids are born usually around May or June following the rut, a favourable time of year for the offspring to survive. Twins and even triplets are very common, often left in shrubby areas with the doe returning to feed them regularly after feeding herself.

 

Control

 

Due to natural predators such as bears, large cats and wolves now being extinct in the UK, the deer population can become dense – especially if twins and triplets are common.

cougar

Their excessive eating habits can be disastrous for agriculture, plant species diversity, and can cause significant damage to forestry. Wildlife rangers now manage deer population in a humane and sensitive manner.

 

Habitat Preference

 

This is based entirely on the species of deer where you are located. We have three main species in the UK:

 

  • Muntjac Deer
  • Fallow Deer
  • Roe Deer

 

Muntjac deer are a timid and secretive deer, and prefer to hide in thick woodland and overgrown gardens. They are however very versatile when it comes to adapting to habiti, which has allowed them to spread through the UK very effectively.

 

Fallow deer are more accustomed to a lighter variation of woodland with a dense undergrowth. They’re partial to thick meadows, marshes and are often seen on agricultural land – feasting on your crops!

 

Roe deer are the most extrovert of deer and are more than happy in wide open spaces, and can been seen in large gardens in rural and suburban areas.

 

With over 10 years in business, we have developed a highly effective pest-friendly spray for farmers, growers and avid gardeners to use  against damage from deer. If you would like a friendly chat about how we can help, please let us know!