Year 9 trip to Lye Cross Farm

On Wednesday 1st July a few pupils from Year 9 visited Lye Cross Farm just south of Redhill on the A38. As we are studying farming in our next topic of Geography, our teachers arranged a Farm trip to let us fully experience what happens on a mixed farm. There are four sections that make up Lye Cross Farm: The Arable side – this is where they produce cereals like wheat, barley and oats; the Beef and Dairy side - this is where they produce the milk for their cheese and the beef for local butchers; the Contracting side – where they contract farm machinery for local farmers unable to buy their own; and finally the cheese side – this is their biggest money maker, producing 6000 tons of cheese per year.

Lye Cross Farm has a small arable side where they grow cereal including wheat, barley, oats, oilseed rape and maize, some of which is fed to our own stock and some sold. All this helps them decrease their carbon footprint. They also have pasture for the cows to feed on but now after TB they will mow the grass, turn it into silage and feed it to the cows in the winter months. In addition, the farm has areas of land that aren’t quite good enough for producing food so they have planted them with thousands of native trees including oak, field maple and alder, to further help balance the carbon footprint.

Lye Cross Farm have 1000 cows, 250 of which are organic. Each cow is estimated to produce 7000 litres of milk every year, however any that produce under will get bred for beef and then get sold in the farm shop. They say that there cows are out all summer and in for the winter but after a recent epidemic of TB or better known as Bovine Tuberculosis, the cows will have to stay in the barns for the next four years. Their cows supply their cheese dairy with 7 million litres of milk each year. Lye Cross farm are dedicated to following stockmanship for all animals based on the RSPCA’s Five Freedoms which underpins all they do with their livestock:-

•Freedom from hunger and thirst

•Freedom from discomfort

•Freedom from pain, injury or disease

•Freedom to express normal behaviour

•Freedom from fear and distress

Report by Maddie Sweet (Year 9)