Oilseed rape yields appear to be generally disappointing across the country, with yields below or around average.
And as farmers gear up to get into the wheat harvest, many are voicing concern about high levels of septoria.
In Kent, Andrew Cragg was very disappointed with oilseed rape yields at Brooker farm, Romney Marsh.
“Almost all of the 100ha of DK Cabernet, PR46W21 and Charger is off the ground, and it yielded 3.6t/ha,” he said. “To be below our 20-year average is hugely disappointing.”
David Hinchliffe also saw some poor results at Bank House Farm, Thorne, Yorkshire, although varieties proved variable.
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“We started last week on 18ha of Troy,” he said. “It was disappointing to have reached only 3.5t/ha. But the 20ha of Harper was more pleasing and yielded a respectable 4.5t/ha.”
In Lincolnshire, Adrian Howell hoped to finish cutting oilseed rape at Lighthouse Farm, Sutton Bridge, today (23 July), and was relatively pleased with the year so far.
“We had 220ha of PR46W21, Avatar, Extrovert, Compass, and a little bit of Harper, which yielded 4.6–5.7t/ha,” he said.
“It’s not proving to be an exceptional year but we’re the right side of average and it’s certainly better than last year.”
Meanwhile, Bruce Udale of Eyton House Farm, Telford, had made the most of an earlier start than anticipated. “We had just over 60ha of Fighter, Compass and PR46W21, which averaged 4.5t/ha,” he said.
However, disease in the wheat was prolific this year, with septoria and take-all proving particularly problematic in the area.
“The first wheats appear to have suffered along with the second and third wheats, which was unexpected, he added.
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In Scotland, Adrian Ivory was getting ready to start winter barley harvest at Strathisla Farms, Perthshire.
“From what we’ve seen from the early starters in the area, the samples have shown good yield but poor grain weights,” he said.
However, he had also found high levels of septoria affecting wheat in the area.
“Everyone around us looks to have suffered to a degree,” he said. “We seem to have been relatively lucky with our own wheat in comparison to others but time will tell.”