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A Year on an Arable Farm DVD advance information


A Year on an Arable Farm, Andrew Lyle. DVD, 72 minutes released 2007 (by Game Keepers Diary). ISBN 978-1-906853-58-7. Now in stock at Old Pond at £15.95.

Seen through the eyes of farmer Andrew Lyle, this DVD charts a year’s progress on a 500-acre arable farm at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The project began as an educational aid suitable for schools, so at each stage it covers in some detail why and how the work is being done. The programme is written and narrated by Sean Sparling.

The farm grows wheat, oilseed rape, oats, potatoes, sugar beet and borage, and uses appropriate up-to-date machinery. Not seen, but part of the enterprise is a pig unit.

The programme begins in early autumn with ploughing, sub-soiling and manuring, then deals with preparing a seedbed for winter wheat. It covers seed protection, drilling, rolling and fertilising. A detailed feature shows the potato harvest.

Winter is dominated by sugar beet lifting. There are also sequences on crop-spraying, ditch maintenance and some work on hedges and in the woodland planting saplings and trimming older trees.

Spring brings the spreading of chicken manure, more drilling, potato planting, crop protection, fertilising and some tidying up in the woodland. The wood chips are taken to the farm biomass boiler which provides heating for the farmhouse and its water. The borage is precision-drilled.

Irrigation is one of the main themes of the summer, followed by machine maintence in preparation for the harvest. The oilseed rape is harvested after which oats, wheat and borage (swathed) are taken in turn. Straw is baled for the livestock unit and the farming year has run its course.

If you are looking for a programme that introduces newcomers to a variety of arable farm activities with clear explanations of what is going on, then this is an ideal DVD for you.

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