So far, it’s been a good start after a remarkable agricultural year. From the lows of the wet, dry, cold etc , harvest in this part of the country ended up being so much better than was first anticipated.
Winter barley touched 10t/ha, otherwise it was 8-9t/ha, spring barley up to 7.25 tonnes after some horrible establishment areas. Winter wheats reaching 10.5t/ha, though wheats after sugar beet were not so clever as many were forced in. In general the quality very good,
These yields were not reckoned on and shows what can be done when nature comes round to a sensible weather pattern. This, coupled with a low disease year and crop protection regimes not being reduced – even in the low disease year – has helped produce these results. I know this is not so in other areas, but even where spring crops were replacing failed winter ones these were better than expected,
This has a spin off, as those that reckoned they either could not or would not want spring cropping have found that this year they could. This may help in the worst blackgrass areas and some farmers are indicating they would put a few of their worst fields in spring cropping now they know they can grow them. We are in real trouble with blackgrass and we must do anything to keep what products we have from failing. This is part of a solution.
At the moment oilseed rape has benefited from the rain we had 10 days ago and those that were slow in appearing have now appeared. Some early drilled rapes are 3-4 leaves. There are still weed sprays to go on as there was a reluctance to spend money where conditions were dry. Slugs have not gone away even though conditions have been dry so do not let up in checking for them.
There are some wheats in, up and sprayed, which is satisfying and with, as I write this, a good week to come a lot more drilling will be done with seed-beds looking as good as they have been for quite a while.
Sugar beet now being lifted and with all of the problems throughout the season it will be interesting to see how the yields fare.