John Best started combining winter wheat at Acton House Farm, Poyntzpass, County Armagh, on Monday (3 September) and is very disappointed with yields.

“We’re doing much better than we were 10 days ago – we have finished the winter oats and oilseed rape, and have 40ha of wheat done now,” he said.

“It will just weigh in at 72kg/hl, and is yielding 5.6t/ha – last year it was 9.8t/ha. However, what we have cut was drilled late and is the worst looking.

“That said, the Diego is all standing, as it doesn’t have much weight in the ear – I’m not very optimistic that it will be much better.”

Mascani winter oats came off at 5.7t/ha, compared to 6.9t/ha in a normal year. “They are a nice sample, but there were a lot of blind sites due to poor pollination.”

Oilseed rape was also down, at 3t/ha, against 5t/ha last year and an average of 4t/ha.

“The Cabernet was slightly better than the Expower, but there was no difference between the thickest and thinnest looking crops,” said Mr Best.

Ground conditions had improved dramatically, and he hoped to begin drilling oilseed rape over the weekend.


Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Duxford
Area: 40ha
Yield: 5.6t/ha