James Francis has only the wheat left to cut at Manor Farm, Hemington, Radstock, Somerset, with mixed success across the farm. 

“The oilseed rape was variable on yields, but nothing was brilliant,” he said.

The Compass oilseed rape yielded around 3 to 3.2t/ha on the better ground. But the Troy had been a disaster on the worst ground, and in some places only managed 1.2t/ha.

“It was poor from the start, with some parts so wet we just couldn’t get on it with sprays and fertiliser,” he said. “It just didn’t get going, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the better variety as Troy had the worst ground to contend with.”

See also: Conventional cultivations set for resurgence.

The Cassia winter barley was pleasing in some areas, yielding 7.4t/ha on the drier ground.

“The sample was quite good from the drier ground considering the start of the year. Anything that started under water was never going to be good, and in some places only managed 4.9t/ha.”

Mr Francis had cut 57ha of winter wheat and although Santiago had yielded well, he wasn’t putting the variety in for next year.

“The yield was there, but the bushel weights were useless and it had a very pinched appearance,” he said.

“JB Diego is by far the favourite with bushel weights around 78-80kg/hl. We’ll be putting this in next year and replacing Santiago with a milling variety for the premium.”

Mr Francis had 60ha of wheat left to cut before getting things ready for next year’s harvest.

“Everything’s going very slowly at the moment,” he said. “We’ll have to see what the weather gives us over the weekend but we’re hoping to get going with drilling the oilseed rape next week.”