Ian Branstone is loading out his first lot of oilseed rape at Bourton Hill Farm, Bourton-on-Water, Gloucestershire, today (24 August).

“We’re cracking on quite well – most of the oilseed rape is drilled, and we’ve only got a little bit of spring barley to cut before getting into the wheat,” he said.

The onset of a rain shower meant he wasn’t quite so worried about not being able to combine today, following a breakdown which had put the combine out of action.

“We’ve got a brand new combine with tracks, and they don’t have the bits to fix it either here or in Germany, which is going to make it rather difficult for the engineer.”

The Cabernet and Sesame oilseed rape had performed really well, said Mr Branstone. “If the combine meter is right, it’s averaged 4.6t/ha, which is amazing.”

Although the first spring barley fields had been disappointing, yielding 6t/ha, the later crops were better at over 7t/ha.

“Bushel weights are low, at 60-62kg/hl, but we haven’t had any claims on them. Unfortunately, we couldn’t thrash it properly without getting skinned grains, so it’s just going for feed.”

Wheat looked quite well, he added. “I’ve rubbed some out and it won’t be disastrous. We’re quite high up on free draining soil here, so we’ve been pretty lucky.”


Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Quench
Yield: 6t to >7t/ha


Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Sesame and Cabernet
Yield: 4.6t/ha