Richard Speakman has finished harvest at Sandon Lodge Farm, Chelmsford, Essex, and is well underway with drilling next year’s oilseed rape.

“We finished on 31 August, which was later than usual for us,” he said.

Cassia winter barley yielded 8.2t/ha, coming off at 16% moisture with a 74kg/hl bushel weight. “It was an exceptional crop and a huge improvement on last year.”

Winter oilseed rape was disappointing in comparison to previous years, yielding an average of 2.9-3t/ha and coming off the field between 7.5% and 15% moisture.

Winter wheat was very variable, with the early sown crops exceeding the usual farm average, but those drilled in wet conditions proving very poor, said Mr Speakman.
 
“Drilling dates and conditions made all the difference. We had some Scout first wheat that was fantastic, yet the Santiago, which was put in late last year, was a complete disaster.”

Bushel weights were all above 80kg/hl and the wheat came off at 12-20% moisture.

“We haven’t really reduced drier costs as we’ve been out in the combines pushing hard early in the mornings,” he added.

Mr Speakman had now drilled the 360ha of oilseed rape for next year, and sprayed and fertilised it. “A good drop of rain will do everything the world of good for us now.”


Crop: Winter barley
Varieties:  Cassia
Yield: 8.2t/ha