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What to see in September

Potatoes are a very important crop in Cornwall and at this time of year the main crop of potatoes is harvested.

As the harvesting machine moves down the field, it pulls up the plants and lifts the potatoes from under the soil. The machine has moving belts where the potatoes are separated from the soil, leaves and stalks which fall through back onto the ground. The potatoes are carried on up into the trailers that are driven alongside.

In beef herds now is the time to find out if the cows are in calf again.

Bulls, male cattle, will have been out in the fields with the cows during the summer months and will have mated with the cows so they will have calves next spring.

One way of checking that the cows are pregnant is to test them with an ultra-sound scanning machine. The machine can record an image of the unborn calf inside its mother.

This scanned image clearly shows the developing calf. By measuring the length of the calf at this stage, you can tell that this cow has been pregnant for about 8 weeks.

The swallows know that summer is ending and begin to gather on overhead wires before they fly south to warmer places like North Africa for the winter.

In the orchards plums and apples are ripe and ready to pick. It looks like being a bumper apple harvest this year. Look for locally grown varieties in farm shops and farmers markets.

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