Wheat harvest under way on Nicolas Buxton's farm in Hertfordshire

Nicholas Buxton is seeing higher yields than last summer as one of the first member of the Camgrain co-operative gets started on his wheat harvest.

The east Hertfordshire grower is now busy cutting the early-maturing variety Gallant, which is yielding 10.5t/ha after cutting 100ha by Saturday (August 1) midday, up on the Gallant average last year of 9.9t/ha.

See also: Wheat harvest under way in Kent with early yields at over 10t/ha

He is growing 126ha of Gallant as a second wheat on the farm, with the rest of his 300ha of wheat made up of Diego, Horatio and a small 10ha area of Skyfall.

“We are happy with the wheat we have cut so far this year,” says Mr Buxton.

Wheat harvest under way on Nicolas Buxton's farm in Hertfordshire

The higher yield has seen some dilution of the grain protein down to 12.28% compared with 12.5% last year despite a total of 280kg/ha of nitrogen fertiliser applied to the second wheat.

Arable foreman David Craddock made a start on the wheat on Thursday 23 July cutting some 300t, and after a delay for rain restarted the following Thursday 30 July.

“The wheat has stood well and cut well, while the Skyfall looks to be a high yield crop,” he says.

Wheat harvest under way on Nicolas Buxton's farm in Hertfordshire

Grain moisture levels started at about 17% and fell to about 14.5% when cutting on Saturday.

Rotation on the 600ha predominately arable farm is two winter wheats followed by oilseed rape with some spring barley grown on the lighter land.

The soils at Watersplace Farm, Wareside, three mile east of Hertford range from clays to lighter chalks and as it is one the southern most Camgrain members, the farm is often one of the first to start delivering to the grain co-operative.

The farm is a family-run operation including Nicholas, his father Henry and other members of the family, and is one of the longest members of Camgrain.

Wheat harvest under way on Nicolas Buxton's farm in Hertfordshire