Letham Shank Farm - Crops, Machinery and Livestock


Letham Shank Farming Glossary

Common terms used in Agriculture and the Countryside.

Here are the results for the letter - S

Scanning (Sheep)
Using an ultrasound device to view the foetuses in a pregnant ewe to determine a) the number of lambs and b) the development stage. This allows the shepherd to allocate the correct amount and analysis of feed to groups of similar ewes.

Sea Smoke
When a very cold airmass moves over a warm body of water, cooling of the saturated air just above the water surface leads to the formation of a shallow layer of fog.

Land which has been cultivated sufficiently to provide a fine enough particle size and is firm enough to allow seeds to germinate quickly and evenly.

The main disease of wheat in the UK. Septoria tritici can have devastating effects on wheat by removing green leaf area. It appears as grey/green striped lesions which expand and develop to eventually turn the whole leaf brown.

Land that is compulsorily removed from production for one or more years. Compensation is given towards the value of crop that could have been grown.

Single Farm Payment. The EU scheme ostensibly designed to simplify the subsidisation of food production but soon became complex and bureaucratic.

Share (Plough)
That part of the plough which operates horizontally and cuts the furrow bottom.

A device on a tractor or handler which allows direction to be reversed at the flick of a lever with no requirement to use the clutch.

Side Knife
When combining crops such as canola where the foliage is dense and tangled, a vertical sideknife is used on the combine header to cut through the stems and prevent the header becoming entangled in the crop. (Picture)

When working a field with multiple slopes, it may be necessary to traverse across the hill. The tractor and implement tend to slide down this slope or crab across the hill, these bouts are sidlings.

Silage is grass which is mown wilted chopped and ensiled in a clamp where anerobic fermentation takes place. Thus most of the nutrients are maintained in the silage.

A tower, generally cylindrical made of steel or concrete used to store grain or silage in an airtight atmosphere. It is filled from the top and emptied at the bottom.

Skylark Plot
A small area of an arable field left unsown to attract skylarks to nest.

A by-product of the iron industry, slag consists of mainly silica and lime with many trace elements. This may be used to improve the fertility of grassland.

Animal dung mixed with water and urine which can be handled as a semi-liquid.

Spear (Grain)
A tubular, pointed instument about 2 metres long which has apertures that may be opened once it has been pushed into a pile of grain allowing a representative sample to be taken.(Picture)

A term used for an implement used for applying pesticides or liquid fertiliser to crops. Many variations on a basic design, widths vary from 12 to 48 metres.

(Manure) spreader is an implement resembling a trailer which has powered rotors to chop and spread manure evenly.

Medical condition caused by a lack of availability or absorption of magnesium in lactating, generally, cattle or sheep.

Stale Seedbed
Using cultivations to encourage weeds to germinate prior to sowing a crop. Each 'flush' of weeds is destroyed by further cultivations or herbicide prior to sowing the crop. This should reduce the number of seeds left to germinate in the crop.

A castrated bull.

Generally, a heifer or bullock over twelve months old.

A stem running horizontally on the soil surface which may produce shoots or roots. See also Rhizome.

Measure of weight equal to 14 lbs. 8 stone equalled one hundredweight.

A group of 6 or 8 sheaves of corn which were stacked on end in pairs to allow the grain and straw to dry.

Store cattle/sheep
Animals grown slowly to just below their potential, they are bought and made ready for slaughter by Finishers.

Straight (fertiliser) is one which contains only one nutrient e.g. nitogen or potash as opposed to a compound which contains more than one.

That part of the crop that is left after thrashing the grain. It may be baled for use as stock bedding or low grade feed or chopped and incorporated to help improve soil structure.

A method of crop establishment where a narrow band is cut in the soil, through previous crop residues, where the seed is placed and covered. The remainder of the land is untouched.

A recent development in fungicides using chemicals extracted from another fungus. They have a suppressive effect on other fungi but also assist the plant in remaining green.

The remains of the plant stem left behind after harvesting a crop.

That layer of soil normally below cultivation depth but which has a great effect on the performance of the topsoil. Subsoiling is an operation where a deep cultivator runs through the subsoil at a depth of around 450 mm when the soil is dry to shatter it.

(Sheep) A broad, long and heavy sheep used in meat production generally by crossing with other breeds such as mules or texel.

Sugar Beet
A variety of beet (Beta vulgaris) which is specifically grown because of it's high sugar content which can be processed to produce quality sugars.

A non metallic, trace element which is essential in plant growth. Atmospheric deposition has been adquate to replenish soil reserves until recently when fossil fuel emmissions have been 'cleaned up'. Sulphur (sulfur) must now be applied to crops in fertilisers.

A row of grass or straw which is laid ready for baling or similar operation.

A brassica root crop commonly used for feeding livestock either in situ in the field or after lifting and carting. Most 'turnips' in shops are actually swedes. Also known as 'Swedish Turnip' or 'Rutabaga'.

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2000 - 2019