Chris Hewis recorded 130mm of rain in July at The Grange, Habrough, Lincolnshire, but has caught up well on harvest.

“We started the rape at the end of July – it had been swathed for almost a month. But it was a good crop – we were really pleased.”

The 21ha (53 acres) of Excalibur yielded 106t – or 4.9t/ha (2t/acre).

“However, winter barley was a different story. It struggled to make 2.5t/acre (6.2t/ha) – and at today’s prices that’s not very good.”

Although the Flagon came in dry, with 98% germination and 1.7% nitrogen, it was likely to go on a boat as feed barley, he said. “There’s no premium and we need to move it quickly to store the wheat.”

Mr Hewis was hoping to start on Oakley winter wheat today (14 August). “The straw is still quite green, though, and it’s 17% moisture.

“I’d rather let the sun dry it, as we’ve got a promising forecast. It cost a lot to grow – it’s had a lot of yellow rust – but it looks a good crop.”

He had 45ha (110 acres) of Oakley and 28ha (70 acres) of Humber to cut, and it had suffered from drought in April.

Farmers were only just starting wheat in the area, and some still had green winter barley.

Mr Hewis’s 53ha (130 acres) of Tipple spring barley was still about a week off, and harvest was about 45% complete in the area, he said.

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Excalibur
Area: 21ha (53 acres)
Yield: 4.9t/ha (2t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Flagon
Area: 50ha (123 acres)
Yield: 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre)

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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

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