Oilseed rape is looking patchy across many parts of the country, with poor winter establishment and pest damage knocking yields.
In Kent, Jonathan Tipples had cut 24ha (60 acres) of Expert oilseed rape, which ranged from 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) to 3.9t/ha (1.4t/acre), and averaged about 3.5t/ha (1.4t/acre). “I’m not convinced there’s a big rape crop out there – there are too many fields with big patches in them,” he said.
Tim Lock’s Lioness was also very mixed at Houghton Farm, Arundel, Sussex, and averaged about 3.2t/ha (1.3t/acre).
But in Somerset, Richard Payne was averaging 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre) with Splendor, and expected to make a start on the Saffron winter barley shortly.
Barometer grower Andrew Blenkiron had finished his winter barley at Chillington Farm, Wolverhampton, with yields a pleasing 10% above average. The 49ha (120 acres) of Carat and Suzuka both averaged 6.9-7.1t/ha (2.8-2.9t/acre), with a nice bold sample, he said. “We’ve also got a good crop of straw, although it’s still a bit green.”
Boost winter barley yielded well at Rob Bebbington’s Fieldfare Farms, Whitchurch, Shrops, with an average of 9.1t/ha (3.7t/acre). “We’re very pleased with that,” he said.