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AMA

I’m a farmer’s wife

68 replies

farmerswife100 · 13/07/2018 13:50

If this one will be of any interest?! AMA

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 10:25

Not ashamed of being a farmer at all, but under other NNs when I’ve mentioned on other threads that I didn’t work and stayed home pre-children, I got lynched quite a few times! Even if I explained I’m not sat about in a pinny and full makeup waiting for DH to come home from the office Grin

For dates in advance, it’s just an unpredictable lifestyle. Weather is a huge part for us, yes. This year, we’ve been invited to a wedding this weekend. We said yes, thinking there would be at least another week until harvest really begun. But because it’s been so dry, we have started already, so now we are going to have to drive to wedding destination four hours away and back in the same day. For our own wedding, we booked it in a ‘quiet’ time, but one of the cows ended up being lame a few days before and took up a whole day, which put the rest of the work a day back, and DH still hadn’t had time to go and buy a suit two days before the big day!

It can be frustrating because you can be sitting about for weeks not really getting much done due to rain or whatever, but you may have already rejected invites to something thinking it would be a busy time. Last year we went on a little holiday in the middle of August because it was so bloody wet, but if anyone had said ‘we’re getting married in August, can you come’ we would have said no straight away, thinking there would be no chance.

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 10:25

We have around 2,500 acres

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 10:28

And similar to what Scrowy said, when we’ve grown certain crops, there are only a few contractors in the country who will harvest it, so they tell you when they’re coming and that’s it, you can’t delay it because they have a whole country to fit into a short time space.

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WhyDidIEatThat · 18/07/2018 10:41

Wow, that’s a lot of land! Do you irrigate any of your crops, are you running out of water?

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 10:48

We don’t irrigate at all. For the crops we grow, it’s a huge expense in this country when we (normally!) have enough rain. Our harvest won’t be as good this year because of the dry weather we’ve had, but the cost of irrigation would have been far greater than the extra money we would have got from well watered crops.

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Whojamaflip · 18/07/2018 11:06

Another one who thought about starting a thread like this but wasn't brave enough!Blush thanks for stepping up op Thanks

It's very difficult when people ask what you do and you answer farmers wife cos they immediately think you're sitting round doing nothing but baking and cooking all day!

We have a mixed farm (beef, sheep and arable) but also run a contracting business - I'm the general dogsbody who jumps in wherever needed - tractor work, sorting out the animals or delivering parts or string, net etc to various parts of the parish! Oh and I do all the accounts paperwork etc as well.

Yy to not being able to commit to invitations between may and October! Dh and the team do contract work for lots of different farmers and they all want the work doing at the same time so it's pretty full on! If it rains then great we will be there but if not then it's unlikely!

Would also like to read Scrowys dissertation.

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lastnightidreamtofpotatoes · 18/07/2018 11:15

Do you have an overbearing MIL who lives an arms length from your front door? Did you have to sign a prenuptial staging that you would have no stake in the house upon divorce? Any women I know who married into farming families had both of these.

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 11:24

Do you have an overbearing MIL who lives an arms length from your front door?

Maybe Grin we get on very well most of the time though luckily.

Did you have to sign a prenuptial staging that you would have no stake in the house upon divorce?

No, I did ask if I needed to sign anything to protect the farm business itself, but FIL said no.

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whataboutbob · 18/07/2018 13:30

Here’s another question. Assuming this year has required extra watering for crops, do you have to pay for your agricultural water consumption?

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 15:11

Assuming this year has required extra watering for crops, do you have to pay for your agricultural water consumption?

We don’t have the means for watering our crops (irrigation) because there isn’t the need for it often enough to make it worthwhile.

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whataboutbob · 18/07/2018 15:24

Oh ok then. Just thought they might need some extra help this year but I guess you are not in the south east.

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WhyDidIEatThat · 18/07/2018 15:34

It’s not like you can just set up a sprinkler though is it?! I know the wheat round here is v poor this year, yet the barley seems okay - op said the loss from a poor yield is still cheaper than irrigating when they never usually need to.

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Scrowy · 18/07/2018 15:50

It's not that simple whataboutbob. Even if the crops do need help (and they really do this year!) it would be extremely rare for most arable farms in the UK to have widespread systems in place to irrigate crops as we usually have the opposite problem in this country.

Irrigation systems are hugely expensive and can't just be put in on a whim very easilvery, particularly in fields where crops are already growing.

To answer your original question though:

It would depend on the farm and what agreement they have with their local supplier if they use one.

Farms are essentially treated just like other businesses for water use in that different businesses with different needs have differen agreements with water companies.

Our farm has a metered supply, so we pay for every cubic metre of water we pay for. We don't use a huge amount of water, mainly just water troughs for animals and water for the farm house or to clean the cattle trailer out with a pressure washer.

Other farms, particularly high water users, may be on a flat yearly rate for up to a certain amount of water so they know how much they will pay each year.

Lots and lots of farms have their own water supply (e.g a borehole or natural spring) and therefore only pay the water company/ environment agency a minimal standing charge or groundwater charge. Most boreholes have an annual limit on how much can be taken from them, but it's usually pretty high.

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WhyDidIEatThat · 18/07/2018 16:05

I thought everyone had a borehole, learning so much from this thread!

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ScrubTheDecks · 18/07/2018 16:05

Has the harvest been very early this year?

I am used to seeing the combines out in August in the part of E England that I visit often, but last weekend the harvest was done, stubble in the fields and the straw baled up.

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whataboutbob · 18/07/2018 16:25

Thanks I just thought it was worth asking, as water usage is likely to be more and more of an issue.

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farmerswife100 · 18/07/2018 18:09

We are indeed in the south east, and the cracks in the field are so big you can fit your feet in them, but as a PP said, you can’t just pop out with the hose and water them! We have 2,500 acres spread across three different locations, that would be a massive cost to set up an irrigation system.

Harvest is early this year, we’ve done all our barley already. Wheat can probably hold off for another week but it’s much earlier than last year.

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Badumdumdum · 26/07/2018 23:37

A question for the sheep farmers - have you read Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books? Does he get the feel of sheperding and sheep farming right?

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