The leaves are on the turn, the shadows lengthen at the edges of our pastures, and across the patchwork view a few, final fields here and there are being turned by the plough.

The autumn months after harvest are a time of major transition in the farming calendar, yet thanks to this year’s unseasonably dry September our hard-hoofed Sussex cattle continue to graze pasture that still contains enough clover to provide them with the nourishment they need to steadily grow and condition. However, as the nights draw in ever more swiftly through the month, grazing hours are shortened and the limited daylight will eventually drop the water soluble carbohydrate levels in the grass, reducing the nutritional values of the pasture. At this point the cattle, especially the young-stock will be foddered with supplements (most likely silage and hay) and towards October’s end the herds will be kept under cover come nightfall.

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