Martin Howlett has not combined anything at Deer Park Farm, Callington, Cornwall, for the past week.

“It’s been a mucky old time in this part of the world – the mood is almost a sense of resignation after three wet summers on the trot,” he said.

The winter barley, finished last Tuesday (18 August), was several weeks ahead of last year. “But we’re still going to be combining into September, which in any normal year would be a disaster.

Sequel averaged a reasonable 4.9t/ha (2t/acre) at below 15% moisture, but Saffron ranged from 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre) to 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre).

“The two fields drilled on 5 November suffered from dreadful rabbit damage.”

With harvest now halfway through, Mr Howlett had Westminster spring barley ready to cut, followed by some very late Mascani winter oats and Fuego spring beans.

“The oats look really good – if they don’t do 50cwt (6.2t/ha), with a lot of straw, I’ll be disappointed.”

Farmers were between a third and halfway through harvest in the area, with hardly any wheat underway, he added.

“There is a lot of grass in the bottom of the crops, having been muddled in in the autumn. That is causing problems because of the high moisture content.”

With a poor forecast for the rest of the week, Mr Howlett didn’t expect to be combining again until September.

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Sequel
Yield: 4.9t/ha (2t/acre)

Variety: Saffron
Yield: 4.3-6.2t/ha (1.75-2.5t/acre)

 syngenta seeds logo

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.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website