David Hoyles has been combining mustard seed at Monmouth Farm, Spalding, Lincolnshire, while waiting for standing winter wheat to dry out.

“Our family has been growing mustard for Colman’s of Norwich for over 100 years – it is the main ingredient in the hot yellow Colman’s English Mustard,” he said.

The first field of Gedney white mustard had yielded a rather disappointing 1.6t/ha at 10% moisture, but Mr Hoyles hoped the rest would be closer to the five-year average of 2t/ha.

Crop facts

  • Crop: White mustard
  • Variety: Gedney
  • Yield: 1.6t/ha

“We hoed that field twice in the spring, but it still had a lot of bindweed and knotgrass, so we sprayed it off, which knocked the crop quite hard. The next couple of fields look more promising.”

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So far Mr Hoyles had spent about three days combining wheat, finishing up at midnight last night and starting again at midday today (14 August).

“We’re only about a quarter of the way into combining, although we’ve done a lot of vegetables in between,” he said.

“Yields are not record-breaking but they are consistently good, which is encouraging.”

Santiago yielded 11-12.5t/ha, with Cougar at 12-13t/ha. “We had nearly 100mm of rain last weekend, which is half the rain some people had around here,” he added.

“It hasn’t damaged any of the cereals – all the wheat is still standing. But we wanted to get at the mustard before it knocked the shells.”