Contractor Keith Snowball is about 50% through oilseed rape and winter barley at his customers’ farms near Brandsby, Yorkshire.


“The forecast is for more changeable weather so we’re combining oilseed rape today (2 August) at 11% moisture, to get it in.

“It’s frustrating – things are just getting going, and we really need some fine weather.”

Fashion oilseed rape had yielded almost 5t/ha (2t/acre), he said. “But we haven’t even desiccated any of our own yet – it’s got a lot of chicken litter underneath and is just so fertile.”

Winter barley had performed better than expected so far, albeit without breaking any records, he said.

“The rain just came in time after the spring; everything was on a knife edge.”

Pearl and Carat had averaged about 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre), with Volume closer to 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

Winter oats were ripening fast, but wheat was still about 10 days off, he added.


Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Fashion
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: <5t/ha (2t/acre)


Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Pearl and Carat
Yield: 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre)


Variety: Volume
Yield: <7.4t/ha (3t/acre)