Recruiting as much help as possible has enabled David Butler to press on through harvest, leaving him just 14% of his wheat to finish off.
He had 60ha (150 acres) of Alchemy winter wheat and one day of spring beans to combine at East Wick Farm, Wootton Rivers, Marlborough, Wilts.
“Now the pressure is off a little, but we don’t regret pushing on because what’s left in the field is very heavily sprouted and very poor quality.”
Yields had been reasonable, but about half of the remaining crop was sprouted. “The big saviour is that we haven’t had a lot of lodged crops, which has made things easier.”
A breakdown due to wet resin in the combine unloading system cost Mr Butler a full day’s combining yesterday (15 September), but he was busy drilling rape instead.
“Ground conditions are still very soft and we’ve had to keep adapting the cropping to get the rape in.”
Mr Butler also had a huge amount of wet straw in the field. “We don’t know what to do with it – it’s a lot of black muck.”
The Tipple spring barley, cut before the wheat, yielded well and all made malting, he added. “It was one of the high points of harvest.”
Crop: Winter wheat
Area: 40ha (100 acres)
Yield: 9.3t/ha (3.75t/acre)
Crop: Winter barley
Yield: > 7.4t/ha (3t/acre)
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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high
See the New Farm Crops website.