David Butler is in the early part of the wheat harvest at East Wick Farm, Wootton Rivers, Wiltshire, having made the most of a wonderful July.

“We’re just over halfway through this year’s harvest and we’ve never been in such a good position,” he said. “We’ve avoided the storms and it’s been enjoyable and trouble free.”

Although the 160ha of winter oilseed rape was slightly disappointing at 3.8t/ha, Gerald winter oats yielded a pleasing 7.9-8.4t/ha over the weighbridge.

Propino spring barley surpassed the Cassia winter barley, at 7.9t/ha.

“The Propino was sold to Wiltshire Grain and it’s been the top crop of the year for me,” he added. “The yield was fantastic and nitrogen was 1.4%.”

See also: Opinion – Lazy farming has caused the blackgrass crisis.

Mr Butler had just moved into the third field of Solstice winter wheat, which was going well so far.

“The first half was easy and took very little drying,” he said. “Although it’s wetter now and coming off at 20% moisture, the quality’s good and I think we’ll just have to be patient.”

Of the Horatio wheat already in the barn, yields came back at 10.3t/ha and 10.8t/ha.

“That bit of ground has always been difficult to work with,” said Mr Butler. “Having also had issues with lodging and pigeons, we’re pleased with yields, and bushel weights were good at 78kg/hl.

“With the oats highly performing, we guessed the wheat would be good. All in all, it’s been a great year for us,” he added.

“There’s still a lot to do now that the heatwave has moved on and the driers are being switched on full speed.

“It’s just a shame that with such good crop performance, the financial performance is not so promising.”

Crop facts

Crop:

Oilseed rape
Varieties: PR46W21 and Sesame
Area: 160ha
Yield: 3.8t/ha
   
Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Cassia
Yield: 7.6t /ha