Harvest is well underway at Trerule Farm, Saltash, Cornwall, where Jon Bond has just started combining 90ha of Castille oilseed rape.
“I’d like to make a big hole in it before it rains again,” he said. “It looks quite promising at the moment, but I’m not sure it’s all fit.
“About half wasn’t desiccated because it was too far on – the other half I’ve sprayed off to even it up.”
Harvest began on 15 July, in a very muddy field of Maris Otter winter barley. “The mud has since dried out into something like concrete.”
Yields varied from 2.5t/ha to 5t/ha, and probably averaged 3.7t/ha. “We would like to average 5t/ha in a normal year.
“The quality is also disappointing; because of the dry start and wet summer, all the nitrogen seems to have gone to the grain, so it’s 1.8-1.9% nitrogen.
“There is also a lot of straw – at about 5t/ha – all the growth went into that rather than the grain.”
Most farmers in the area were frantically haymaking this week, added Mr Bond.
“There’s been more grass cut in Cornwall this week than any other week I can remember.
“The oats aren’t very far away either, and the wheat won’t be far behind that; this nice bit of weather has brought it on quite quickly, although it’s all full of disease.”
Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Maris Otter