Meurig Raymond has been very lucky with the weather at Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Dyfed.
Despite weather warnings and torrential rain in Cardiff yesterday (14 August), the farm was bathed in warm sunshine, so combining was able to mostly continue.
“We are 50% through harvest, and it’s been fairly easy so far, so I’m not complaining,” he said.
Winter barley did well, with feed varieties averaging 8t/ha. “We had Cassia, California and Volume – the Cassia did the best, but a lot depended on the soil. The deeper soil did the best, as the shallower ground suffered over the dry summer.”
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Maris Otter managed no more than 5t/ha, but was of good malting quality, added Mr Raymond.
“The oilseed rape averaged 3.9t/ha, which we’re quite disappointed with – normally we’d expect over 4t/ha, but at least it came off dry. Quartz was the poorest, but Marathon and Excellium did well.”
Of the 283ha of spring barley, Mr Raymond had cut 49ha of Odyssey, which had yielded 7.5t/ha with a nice sample.
He had also cut 80ha – about a quarter – of the winter wheat. “The Santiago has done exceptionally well, at 11t/ha with a bushel weight of 80kg/hl.
“We gave it a four-spray septoria programme as it was under a lot of disease pressure, and if it hadn’t have had that final fungicide there would have been a lot more disease,” he said.
Although harvest was well ahead of a normal year, this week’s rain meant the spring barley and winter wheat that was left to cut was starting to get ahead of the combine, said Mr Raymond.
“We’ve been ahead of the curve but there’s a big chunk coming ready now, so we need it to dry up. And I just wish prices were better.”