Rain has stopped play at Andrew Digwood’s Willow Paddocks Farm, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, today (24 August).

“We are only getting light showers, but it’s just enough to keep stopping us,” he said.

So far he had only cut 4ha (10 acres) of Oakley winter wheat, which was looking promising at over 9.9t/ha (4t/acre). “That said, we probably started with the best.”

Mr Digwood finished his Gerald winter oats yesterday, which had yielded well. “We were quite pleased with them, although I’m not sure what they’ve averaged yet.”

The Cocktail spring barley had averaged over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), which was pleasing considering he didn’t normally grow spring barley. “We couldn’t get the wheat in last year.”

Oilseed rape had been the disappointment of the year, with yields ranging from under 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) to over 5t/ha (2t/acre). “There was a lot of pigeon damage on the poor bits.”

Mr Digwood now had 80ha (200 acres) of Oakley, Battalion and Clare winter wheat to combine, as well as 16ha (40 acres) of beans. “It doesn’t look too bad.”

With many people combining at 17-18% moisture, most would finish by the end of the week, he added. “We’ve got about four days’ combining left.”

Bizarrely, despite the light showers, he had not had any significant for about three weeks, and was now contemplating irrigating the potatoes.

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Oakley
Area: 4ha (10 acres)
Yield: >9.9t/ha (4t/acre)

Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Cocktail
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: >7.4t/ha (3t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Lioness and Castille
Area: 65ha (160 acres)
Yield: 2.5-5t/ha (1-2t/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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