Social History...

(The writer of the next piece is unknown as is the date of writing but reference to the milk yield in 1947, presumably the previous year, would place it at circa 1948)


The farm covers an area of 131 acres and is situated on the southern boundary of Wicklewood. Mr. Morter, the owner, is a successful farmer, and employs two Land-army girls as well as several other farm workers.

The soil is of good mixed clay with brick-earth sub-soil. It is particularly suited to the growing of such crops as barley, sugar-beet and mangolds. The ditches are kept clear of weeds, keeping the fields fairly dry.

The usual rotation on this farm is as follows:-

Four-crop rotation. Five-crop rotation.
1st year - hay 1st year - hay
2nd year - wheat 2nd year - wheat
3rd year - root-crops 3rd year - barley
4th year - barley 4th year - oats

5th year - root crops.

Barley acts as another crop to hay-seed, the latter being sown when the barley is six inches tall, this is called "Drilling the leys". The hayseed is harvested after the barley crop.
Broad-leaf red clover is sown in the same field once only in eight years because more frequent sowings would make the land "Clover-sick" and no other crop would grow successfully the following year. Single-cut cow grass is a common type of hay and resembles red clover, although this does not cause the land to become "Clover-sick". Hay is grown principally for feeding cattle on the farm. '

Hay-seed sown 21-23 lbs-to the acre yields 25-30 stones the acre.

Single cut cowgrass 14 lbs. do. do.

Summer wheat is usually sown some time in March. A good crop can be expected from the land if potatoes or pod-crops have been grown previously.
This crop is harvested at Michaelmas time, depending largely on the weather

The farmer sells most of his wheat in the corn market, but retains loo of the yield for purposes of stock feeding. Seeds sown 10 pecks to the acre yield 10-18 stones to the acre.

These are usually planted in April but not before the.soil is well-manured with 10 tons of farmyard manure to the acre, followed by another 8 cwts of artificial manure, to the acre

Sugar beet, mangolds, kale and potatoes are grown.

These crops are harvested in September and October, the sugar-beet crop being sent to the sugar-beet factory where the.sugar is extracted and the pulp then returned to the farmer who mixes it with hay to make animal feeding stuff

Yield of Mangolds: ------- Yield of Sugar-beet.
25 to 30 tons per acre. -- 13 to 14 tons per acre.

The soil gives a good yield per acre and therefore much barley is grown in this part of Norfolk. Corn manure is drilled-in by means of the combined driller, 3 cwts to the acre. The land is then dressed with 1 cwt per acre of sulphate ammonia or nitrate of chalk. The sown in March, the crop being harvested in August.
Seeds sown 3 bushels per acre yields 24-25 cwts per acre.

The farmer uses this crop for feeding-stuffs, mixing it with peas, thereby making excellent fodder for the dairy herd.

Seeds sown in February - Harvested in August -

4 bushels to the acre. 30 cwt to the acre.

In the spring-time, the land should never be ploughed after much rain, otherwise the soil will set hard and tend to yield a poor crop.

After harvesting in September the remaining stubble on the land is cultivated, this results in the killing of weeds and poppies, allowing others to grow again. The land is ploughed to a depth of 10 inches during November December or even as late as March, though here again much depends on the weather. The soil is then mellowed by the effect of frost and snow.

Any crop grows well if sown on ground where peas or potatoes were grown the previous year. All pod-crops put nitrogen into the soil

Corn is carted only when it is dry; otherwise it goes rotten after stack¬ing. Thatching helps to keep out the wet weather. In a dry season the root-crops are poor and only short roots are developed. This farmer ploughs fields and harvests crops for neighbouring farmers. He works on a contract basis. With a 2-furrow plough he covers 2/3rds of an acre per hour. This includes the time taken in moving from field to field. However, working on his own land, with a 3-furrow plough, he can cover one and a half acres per hour
It takes one-hour to harvest 12 acres of hay or 2 acres of barley, oats or wheat.

50-60 head of cows are kept on the farm, and supplies of milk are sent to the Milk Marketing Board. The cows are Friesian-Shorthorn cross-breds and therefore give a combination of quantity and quality of milk. During 1947 the average yield per cow was 650 gallons per year. In a wet season they would average 100-150 gallons per head more than the previous figure quoted. For every gallon of milk surrendered to the Milk Marketing Board, the farmer is allowed to buy 32 lbs. of dairy cubes (food for the cows) on a coupon basis. Cow’s foodstuffs consist of kale, barley or mangolds mixed

The milk is "Accredited" though the Milk Marketing Board is encouraging the installation of machinery on farms throughout the country to produce "T.T." milk. This process is considered to be more hygienic method.

The farmer has a bull born of a 1470 gallon cow and it is therefore regarded as a valuable animal for breeding purposes. Calves are reared on the farm. Some turkeys and other poultry are kept for domestic use only.
Mr. Morter farms his land to the best advantage, producing the afore¬mentioned crops. The information recorded here was kindly given by him for our mutual advantage, and for this favour we offer sincere thanks.

in much smaller quantities, are oilseed rape and sugar beet. The grassland is used for hay or silage, with only a few fields for pasture. Most of the cattle are raised for meat with only two dairying herds of Friesians One flock of sheep is kept in Hackford. Grass was found on the lower slopes and in the Hackford valley. Fruit is grown commercially in Wicklewood consisting of strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. Wicklewood has two large poultry farms and a mushroom farm serving Wymondham. Norwich and Diss. Potatoes are also grown