Because the season is late this year, all the local farmers are desperate to plant their maize crops.
We have 4 farmers around us and it’s as if they are in a competition to get their crop in first. Two of them had to cut the grass (it’s obligatory in France to have a green crop over the winter to reduce leaching of nitrates into the water course) and make hay, which they either made into large bales or picked it up loose and ensiled it (the storage of fodder in a silo for preservation).
All farmers seem to have differing techniques of breaking up the soil before ploughing it up, for example, using big disc or spring tines. We have one day when they spread farmyard manure or spray slurry. This is extremely smelly, but it doesn’t last long – we just have to make sure we don’t hang the washing outside that day. Then they have to wait for the contractor with the maize drill who needs to work 24/7 to catch up with the log jam of work.