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rain over farm
 
January Farm News is still dominated by the wet weather and the impact 4 months of continuous rain has had on our crops.
 
Sian's Dad records the daily rainfall and December '19 was the wettest in 34 years of recording. As you can see  25.23" fell from September to December; it's no wonder our crops are drowning!
rain readings
  
Our wheat is struggling on, but there are large areas which have drowned. The main areas of oilseed rape have survived a continuous onslaught by the fleabeetle, but there are areas which have failed. We at least have some winter crops in the ground. There are many regions in the UK where farmers have failed to plant anything, and potatoes which should have been lifted are still sitting in water. Richard tried to grab any dry weather that was availabe to plant: he would often go drilling and just put a handful of acres in, but has finally had to wave the white flag. What isn't planted now will go into spring crops, probably spring barley
 
We are luckier than very many farms who have had to abandon autumn drilling and so will now be forced to plant mostly spring crops. The upside of this for our farmland birds is that there will be lots of spring crops to nest in, and the patchwork fields with big bare areas where winter crops have failed, will be filled in with weeds to create spacious foraging areas, abundant with insects and seeds. So it's not all bad news for the wildlife on the farm.

The Snowdrops Are Out!

snowdrops
The lovely snowdrop, whose Latin name, "Galanthus nivalis' translates to 'milk flower of the snow' is a favourite of ours,
and whilst Spring is still a little way off - they are a very welcome indicator that things are moving :)
 

Top Tips For Feeding Garden Birds During Rainy Weather

wet weather bird
 
Keeping garden birds well fed and healthy during all this wet weather is challenging. It certainly requires more effort and commitment on our part;
keeping feeders unblocked and clean, cleaning feeding stations and replacing damp and spoiled food.
We have lots of practical tips in our Wet Weather Feeding Blog to help you out.
 
High Energy Blend; Why it is an excellent choice for feeding garden birds during wet winter months?
high energy blend
  • It's packed with delicious homegrown high energy oil seeds - which have done zero Airmiles - that's very good for our planet
  • It is high energy which means the smallest of garden birds can maintain their nutritional requirements even during these shortest of days
  • It is free-flowing - so will cope well in tubular seed feeders even on the wettest of days, when many seed mixes will clog up
  • You can save 10% until the end of January - so stock up now and make the most of the savings!
Super Suet Fatballs with Sunflower Hearts; Why they are an excellent choice for feeding garden birds during winter months?
fat balls
  • With 50% more fat than traditional fat balls and delicious kibbled sunflower hearts
  • Rich in protein, oil and vitamins. Great taste and texture
  •  This makes them kinder and easier to peck during the cold winter months.
  • Soft-billed garden birds will find these super suet fat balls very easy to consume.
  • One isn't ever enough.... so we have a SPECIAL OFFER on 2 boxes.... ends on 31st January
Good News About Greenfinches?
greenfinch
Being a small family business, one thing that sets us apart is the relationship we have with our customers, and we love to hear from you about your garden birds.
 
The exciting news is that many of you are telling us Greenfinches are back in your gardens which is fantastic news since in recent years the species took a huge hit
with the disease called Trichomoniasis- caused by a protzoal parasite. That parasite loves warm and wet conditions so this winter is perfect for it,
so please do remember to keep up with all your feeder hygiene and good feeding practices. 
If you are wondering what to feed Greenfinches - here are our 3 recommendations;
Black Sunflower Seeds            Feeder Mix                      Native Finch Mix
food for finches
All our seed mixes are double cleaned to eliminate stalks and dust. They are free-flowing, packed with homegrown seeds
and great value for money, so definitely the best a greenfinch ( or any other garden bird for that matter ) can eat!
 
Enjoy Your birds
Best wishes
Lesley