Farming News – July 2023

I write this on the day after Scruton Fest. When I returned home, I checked the sheep because I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. They sounded unsettled. As a farmer, you need a sixth sense for trouble and thundery weather sets off two alarm bells for me, namely, blight in potatoes and maggots in sheep. I soon saw the visual evidence such as a dark patch appearing upon the fleece and the sheep nibbling at the air as though they are wanting to bite at the offending parasites. Another observation is that green bottles can be seen landing upon the fleece ready to lay more eggs to the infestation.

I could hear the music playing down in the village, as the evening progressed under the mackerel sky. I sheared all of the affected sheep and sprayed an insecticide upon the affected areas to kill any remaining subcutaneous maggots which writhed as they escaped from the lymph filled burrows they had made beneath the ovine flesh. It became too dark to shear as the music from the playing fields ceased and the noctilucent clouds in the northern summer sky were replaced by the glow of another display of northern lights.