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Acorn Lodge Shropshire
 
Acorn Lodge Shropshire   Acorn Lodge Shropshire

hay

Local farmers have been very busy over the last few weeks, getting the hay and silage crops in during the fine weather.  Hay and silage are two ways of preserving grass for the winter to feed animals.  Hay is simply carefully dried grass, and has been made for hundreds of years, but silage is made by pickling grass under airtight conditions, and was only introduced to this country around the time of the Second World War.  Silage is more popular for feeding to farm animals these days, because it can be made more quickly and easily than hay – it doesn’t need so much dry weather after cutting.  However, horses can’t eat silage, so must have hay made for them.  The hay from the South Shropshire Uplands is very good quality, and some of it goes to feed the racehorses at Newmarket.  Hay for horses is usually made in the old fashioned small oblong bales, not the big round ones like the ones in these pictures.  Hayfields are better for wildlife than grass grown for silage, as hayfields are left to grow for longer than silage.  They are sometimes old traditional hay meadows with a mix of wildflowers, herbs and grasses. Our smallholding and our son’s farm are part of the Environmental Stewardship scheme, and we make as much hay as we can, even cutting the wide grassed area on either side of our drive for hay.

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