Gerard Sherlock: Drainage work took longer than planned
One thing is for certain - when the good weather comes there are so many jobs to be done. You often find yourself working an extra hour or two after milking just to catch up.
Two weeks ago I hired in a contractor with an excavator to do some drainage work. What I thought would have lasted two or three days finished up a week's work.
Some of my land is low-lying and had simply become too wet to work in. Grass growth was poor and it was being poached too often.
This ground would have been drained around 18 years ago using the 50mm land drain pipes with stone underneath the pipe and on top of it. When we broke in to some of these drains they were blocked and the pipes filled with silt. They were definitely doing no drainage.
In some places we broke into the stone-built drains which were done 50 years ago or more. You could see some water still running in these. I dug a number of new drains and filled them with a mix of 75mm and 50mm clean stone to ground level. I used no pipes this time. In total, I used about 150 tonne of stone.
In one of the cow paddocks this is the fourth time for this particular area to be drained, according to my father. It would be peaty-type soil, with little or no fall on it.
While we had the excavator a few other jobs were done. I opened up a new gap into a paddock and will run a narrow walk along the ditch to allow the cows access to another paddock.
This paddock previously could only be accessed by crossing a field. This would turn out messy when conditions were wet. These little jobs have been put on hold for the past couple of years due to the weather. It's nice to get them out of the way and completed now.