Paul Garfoot is having a frustrating time at Chalke Valley Farming Partnership, Salisbury, Wiltshire, with frequent showers hampering harvest.

“We just got going again today (14 August) and then we were caught by another shower,” he said.

However, harvest was now about 70% complete, with combines having cleared up 60ha yesterday and other bits and pieces earlier in the week.

“The oilseed rape has been disappointing – it looked really well all year but didn’t deliver the goods,” said Mr Garfoot. Most crops ranged from 3-3.5t/ha, with some later-drilled hybrids like Expower getting up to 4t/ha.

See also: Win the battle against resistant blackgrass.

Crop facts

  • Crop: Spring barley
  • Varieties: Cheerio, Tipple and Propino
  • Yield: 8.5-9t/ha

Cassia winter barley did well, at 8.5t/ha – but it was spring barley that was the highlight of the year so far.

“We’ve had some fair tonnages; we’d estimate that Cheerio null-lox barley did 8.5t/ha. Although that’s not over a weighbridge, we haven’t been far out on estimates this year,” said Mr Garfoot. “Tipple has done even better, at about 9t/ha.”

Today, Mr Garfoot had been cutting Propino spring barley at Peter Lamb’s Knighton Manor Farm, Broad Chalke, which was also yielding well at 8.5.t/ha. “It’s far better than we’d expected, but it’s had a pretty good growing season,” he said.

“We planted it quite late, in March, which meant it went into a good seedbed in decent conditions, and it hasn’t stopped since.”

However, Santiago winter wheat had been disappointing, with low bushel weights and a yield of around 8t/ha. “It’s struggled to reach 72kg/hl. There was a lot of septoria and pinched grains,” said Mr Garfoot.

“But some of the later-drilled Diego and Horatio yielded better, at 9-9.5t/ha and had a much better sample.”

Mr Garfoot estimated he would finish cutting spring barley this weekend, leaving just the winter wheat and 17ha of linseed to finish off.