Oilseed rape yields are slightly above average this season for Lincolnshire farm manager, Adrian Howell near Sutton Bridge.

He has nearly finished 170ha of Castille, Winner and Astrid, which yielded between 4.25-5t/ha at 6.5-11% moisture. “Astrid went very well at 5t/ha, but some other crops did suffer from slug damage last autumn, which has affected yields.”

All oilseed rape was desiccated with glyphosate pre-harvest and he was very pleased with how easy Astrid was to combine. “It stood up and locked together in the canopy well – it was almost like combining wheat.”

Mr Howell hopes to start the 700ha of Gatsby, Alchemy, Robigus and Brompton winter wheat this weekend (29/30 July). “It’s a very early season – I’ve never combined wheat on this land in July before.”

Despite most wheat on the silty clay loam appearing to hold on reasonably well, just 7mm of rain in June and 13mm so far this month, mean at least two weeks have been taken off the growing season, he said. “I am worried about what effect this will have on yield.”

He is also concerned about the impact of the dry weather on sugar beet and potatoes, as no irrigation is used, due to the saline local water supply. “Sugar beet appears to be holding up reasonably well and the potatoes are remaining green, but they’re not putting on any weight.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Castille, Winner, Astrid
Area: 170ha
Yield: 4.25t/ha (Castille & Winner), 5t/ha (Astrid)