Steve Dawson is in full swing with the barley and oilseed rape harvest at Dawson Farms, Swainby, Yorkshire, and has seen some surprising yields so far.

“We’ve cut about 260ha of the Bamboo and Volume winter barley. Yields have averaged 10.4t/ha dry which we’re extremely happy with,” he said.

“Bushel weights are around 65kg/hl and it’s been coming off of the field between 11% and 14% moisture.”

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The winter oilseed rape yields had been the surprise of the year, at 5.2t/ha off the combine.

Crop facts

  • Crop: Winter barley
  • Varieties: Volume and Bamboo
  • Area: 260ha
  • Yield: 10.4t/ha

“Although the seed seems small in comparison to other years, the yields seem to have compensated for this which we weren’t expecting,” said Mr Dawson.

“Again moisture content has been exceptional, coming off as low as 5.5% and up to 10%.”

Mr Dawson still had a long way to go, with the wheat, oats and beans all still to cut – and he was busy making the most of the dry weather before it changed later in the week.

“We had a good spell of weather up until last Sunday (28 July), when heavy showers halted progress,” he said. “Before the rain, temperatures were up around 30ºC.

“We might have made some good savings on our drying costs while the weather’s been so good, but with the prices as they are, we have no intention of selling.”