hay bales

Caley Sackur finished combining at Lodge Farm, Tibthorpe, Yorkshire, on Saturday (15 September), and is relieved to have got harvest over and done with.

“It’s not been the easiest harvest,” he said. “Everything has yielded 1.2-2.5t/ha lower than normal, which isn’t brilliant. But it could have been worse.”

Gallant, while yielding 9.1t/ha as a first wheat – about 1.4t/ha below average – produced an extremely poor sample, said Mr Sackur. “The protein was very high, but the bushel weight was dreadful.”

Cordiale, on the other hand, yielded 8.6t/ha as a second wheat, compared to 9.8t/ha in a normal year. “But it was top grade milling wheat, and was drilled a bit later.

“I think the later wheats have done better this year. Oakley was very mixed – the early drilled fields yielded 7.4t/ha, while the later ones did 9.1t/ha.”

Santiago was quite decent, at 9.1t/ha, while Excalibur oilseed rape was disappointing, at 3.7t/ha.

“Normally we’d average 5t/ha – it was fantastic looking but just didn’t fill properly,” said Mr Sackur. “The thickest crops were the worst – the thinner rapeseed was slightly better.”

Cassata winter barley, however, was the crop of the year. “It made 8.2t/ha, and all went as top grade malting barley, so we’re very pleased with that, as it was sold on a good price, too.”

About 95% of farmers in the area had now finished harvest, he added. “We got our oilseed rape drilled three weeks ago, so that’s well up and out.

“We were two weeks late all the way through harvest, but we’ll start drilling wheat on Wednesday (19 September), which is only a week behind last year.”