Farming Today

Although farming has declined drastically in the United Kingdom today, there are still about some three hundred thousand of farms today still in existence, employing still millions of peoples. The farming life is hard, especially not even a hundred years ago when all the work on the land was done with the help of animals and the hard manual labour of the lowly paid farm hands.

There are many different kinds of farms like the keeping of livestock. For these farms it is essential to have good pasture land, of which the grass can also be harvested to see the cattle through the winter months. These farms tend to be in the wetter areas of the country where the rainfall is above average.

The other kind of farming is arable farming where the land is tilled to be able to grow crops of all kinds to feed the nation. The two categories can be divided in traditional farming and organic farming, where no pesticides are used to feed the livestock and to grow the crops.

The income of farmers, who typically own about 50 hectares, is very low with the average farmer earning just over Twenty thousand pounds in a year.

Apart from farming the farmers also have to manage their land with an eye on the conservation of fauna and flora and the maintenance of hedges, ditches and woodland to preserve the habitat of rare species of plants and small animals such as butterflies. This was not always the case and in the nineteen seventies and eighties many of these habitats were destroyed to enable the farms to become more productive.

Some farmers are doing more for the countryside than others to enable threatened species to recover from near extinction. Some farmers have even set up worm farms to enable the land to be aerated by these important creatures. The recovery of some plant species enabled bees to increase their numbers. The bee population has been very hard hit in the United Kingdom by a parasite which attacked their hives.

The grazing of meadows by ruminants also has to be monitored to ensure that the lands are not over or under grazed. Sheep help to keep the land from being overgrown so that other species are not being smothered out of the way.

Now the government has become very strict about conservation, it makes sense that in order to save on farm labour machines have become an important part of farming life. The machinery used ranges from combine harvesters to Hudson trailers.

Trailers have become an integral part of farm life as they are very useful at harvest time as on an arable farm. Not only can harvested crops be transported by these useful implements, but tractors can also be stored on specially crafted varieties of trailers. In livestock farming these vehicles can be used to transport cattle from meadow to meadow or to distribute hay in the winter months to cattle out in the fields when there is nothing much for them to eat.