FW Farmer Focus writer Richard Ward said Saffron winter barley was the “success story of the year” at Home Farm, Gloucestershire. The new feed variety yielded between 10 and 11t/ha, which he likened to wheat variety Alchemy: “I may grow nothing but Saffron next year. With barley yields like this, why grow wheat?”

Of 120ha of winter barley, he said yields on heavy ground had been “very good indeed, with fantastic quality”. Second barleys Carat yielded 8.5t/ha, and Flagon at 7.5 – 8t/ha, all with “big, bold and beautiful” grains.

Mr Ward said harvest was earlier than last year, and yields were higher. “Things were going very well indeed until four o’clock yesterday when we had a fire. Thankfully, there was not too much damage.”

He expected to start on winter wheat by Aug 1, but said the high temperatures had meant it was likely the wheat would not have had enough moisture for super yields like the barley. “But, it will certainly be a good average or above normal.”

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Saffron
• Area: 120ha in total
• Yield: 10 – 11t/ha

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Carat
• Area: 120ha in total
• Yield: 8.5t/ha

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Flagon
• Area: 120ha in total
• Yield: 7.5 – 8t/ha