Shorter days are taking their toll at Boddington Estates, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, where Joe Edwards didn’t get combining until 1pm today (6 September).
“It was foggy this morning, and then it gets cold and damp in the evening so we have to stop by 8pm. The wheat’s all dusty and doesn’t want to thrash – it’s horrible.”
So far he had cut 16ha of Solstice, which was yielding just 6t/ha, with bushel weights in the low 60s before cleaning, rising to mid 60s after cleaning.
“Protein is excellent, at 15-16%, but the Hagberg has dropped right off, to 125 seconds.”
Gallant was also disappointing, at 7t/ha, with protein contents at 15% and Hagbergs at 230-250.
However, Cordiale had done much better, yielding 8t/ha, with most reaching the full milling specification.
“We also had some Crusoe on the Warburtons buyback contract. It didn’t do well, at 6.5t/ha, a bushel weight of 68kg/hl and Hagberg of just 125,” said Mr Edwards.
“But agronomically it was really good – it stayed clean and upright, so I will grow it again. You can’t judge a variety on one year. But I will drop the Solstice area as it didn’t do well last year, either.”
Grandia oilseed rape performed slightly better than PR46W21, at 3.85t/ha and 3.7t/ha, respectively. Oil contents were better in the PR46, at 44%, compared to Grandia at 42%.
“The Grandia was really consistent – the yield didn’t vary by more than 0.2t/ha across the entire acreage.”
With 80ha of wheat left, Mr Edwards expected to move into the final 35ha of winter beans next week.
“I sprayed them off 10 days ago. They looked rubbish, but now the foliage has died back they might surprise us and do 3t/ha. They are all standing up, so should be easy to combine.”
He was also planning to start drilling oilseed rape at about the same time. “Cultivating isn’t easy, because we’re on heavy clay. It’s a pudding to start with, and within 24 hours of turning it it’s gone like concrete, so it’s going to be a time-consuming job.”
Crop: Winter wheat
Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Grandia and PR46W21