Posted on

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





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?




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.




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!





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.

Posted on

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.


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.




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.




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.


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!

Posted on

Do Farmers Take Winter Off?

If you’re a farmer, know a farmer or generally around farmers, you’ll know the well asked questions “So, what do you do during Winter?” The preconception being – not a lot! Becoming accustomed with day time TV, visit some family and generally have a rest…




Just because the weather turns colder and the days become shorter doesn’t mean a welcome break for farmers. If anything, this is when certain tasks around the farm (dependant on what you’re farming) become essential. Farmers are the ultimate example of ‘fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’.


Farming may sometimes look glamourous, being able to wander through golden fields, sheep dog in tow, chewing on a piece of barley; but don’t forget, farming is a business. Farmers need to make money and need a strategy just like anyone else running an enterprise.


Included in that strategy is Winter. And here’s what some farms do to maximise their labour effectiveness through the cold months:




One of the biggest and most important tasks on the farm is the maintenance of equipment. Almost every farm now uses machinery to increase productivity and reduce the number of physical man-hours for safety and cost reasons.


Ever tried starting your 10-year-old car up on a frosty morning? Wish you’d have taken it for its service last month? Well farming equipment is exactly the same. Without regular and proper maintenance, some machinery will simply seize up and refuse to work during Winter and into Spring.




As we mentioned above, farming is just like running any other business. The fundamentals are exactly the same: you need to turn a profit to keep up and running. This means that there is usually a significant amount of administration and paperwork to complete to keep on top of finances and make sure you’re turning a profit.


What better time to make sure this is all in order than when it’s cold and dark outside!? Throw some more logs on the fire, make a brew and get your business administration head on. Remember: it’s all about preparation when it comes to farming, and paperwork is no exception!


Spring Livestock Prep

This obviously only applies to livestock farms, but is an important and significant task to undertake in Winter.


Preparing livestock such as sheep for the lambing season will help both the farmer and the livestock. Around February time the sheep will be brought in for pregnancy screening and housing, being sorted into groups of how many lambs they’re expecting to give birth to.


From there the feeding of concentrates begins, and a few lambs will have already been born. Vaccination and feet trimming is completed for all breeding ewes, and then around March the real lambing begins!


The lambs are given 24 hours’ attention which means many sleepless nights for the farmer – which is why the preparation during Winter is essential to make sure that lambing season goes as smoothly as possible!


Take a Break


So, after reading all of the above, which is only what goes on during early, mid and late Winter – do you feel farmers deserve a break? We do!


While things will naturally slow down, and there is only so much paperwork you can catch up on, Winter is the perfect time for farming families to visit relatives, take a short break in the sun, but where farming differs from most careers – it’s a lifestyle, and one which they love. So, the farm will always be in the forefront of their mind.



Farming is in our blood and we love to see profitable and sustainable farms doing well. If you’d like to find out more about any products we offer to help farms manage pest damage, feel free to give us a call for a chat or drop uv

Posted on

GRAZERS celebrating 10 years!

We are celebrating our 10th Anniversary!

To mark this we have created a short video, please take a look below – share on Twitter and Facebook @GrazersFamily

We remain committed to our non harmful approach to pest damage.

AND later this year we are excited about launching our NEW GRAZERS G4 formula against lily beetle damage.

Watch this space..


GRAZERS would like to wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2017!

Posted on

Your Winter Garden: What’s Happening?

We’ve seen snow in the Lake District and part of the UK, the wind is blowing and it’s most certainly cold! For many, this means avoiding the garden, blaming the weather – and facing the inevitable in Spring.

But for you garden enthusiasts, here’s what’s going on in your garden; what you can do to keep it as healthy as possible to get the best possible head start in Spring. As much as we love gardening, the huge haul through into Spring can be made as enjoyable as possible!

winter_veg_gardenProtect Your Flowers


If you’re a gardening pro, you’ll know we’re not calling you a name.

Mulching is the process of using dead leaves, chippings of bark, crushed shells, or even specialist coverings to cover the soil around your flower beds and shrubs. Mulching enriches the soil, prevents weeds from growing and most importantly during the Winter months, protects the ground from the harsh frost.

Jack Frost Bites!

It comes every year, sometimes when you least expect it, ruining your flower beds, cracking your pots and freezing your plant roots. Be prepared!

As per above, cover your flower beds via mulching and also your pots with fleece, hessian or even bubble wrap! This is prevent any irreparable damage when frost bites and ice sets in.

Raise your potted plants off the floor on bricks or smaller pots to save your plants roots from freezing when the frost turns into ice. Remember: if it’s on the floor – it’ll freeze!

Don’t Ignore Your Lawn

Just because it’s wet and cold doesn’t mean you should neglect your lawn. It still requires your love attention to stay healthy during the cold and moist months.

Remember to remove all the loose leaves. The wind will do some of the hard work for you, but if you leave them they will block out light and moisture which your lawn still needs during winter to keep fresh and green.

You should cut your lawn on a higher setting than normal if it’s starting to look a bit long. Be careful not to disturb the turf underneath as this is where your lawn is most sensitive.

Avoid walking on your lawn while it is frosty. As satisfying as it may feel to crunch over the grass, it can damage the blades leaving brown patches resembling your foot prints!

Winter Pests

The good news is, the majority of small garden pests have all disappeared until Spring. It’s unfortunate that the warmer weather has followed and won’t be back until March/ April!

But don’t forget there are still some vegetable munching critters out and about looking for hibernation stock! Make sure you protect and winter veggies you have growing ready for harvesting in Spring.

If you would like to learn more about handling winter pests, or just a chat about gardening and agriculture during Winter, give us a call or send us an email.