Colin Keevil is busy on the combine at Chapel Farm, West Knoyle, Wiltshire, with only one more week of harvesting left to go.

This year’s Compass oilseed rape yielded a very disappointing 2.9t/ha, which was well below the farm average.

“In the past we’ve had 4.9t/ha,” said Mr Keevil. “It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong as it looked okay with a good stem, but the yield just wasn’t there.

Crop facts

  • Crop: Spring barley
  • Variety: Tipple
  • Yield: 7.4t/ha

“The establishment and weather conditions hadn’t been perfect but this was far lower than anticipated.”

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The Cassata winter barley was much more pleasing, yielding just under 7.4t/ha and coming off at 14.5% moisture. Nitrogen was between 1.55% and 1.7%, with everything reaching malting quality.

Tipple spring barley also hit malting quality with nitrogen between 1.45% and 1.65%. Yields reached 7.4t/ha dried, which Mr Keevil was very happy with.    

“We’ve had a problem with 56ha of barley still in the ground, with some parts not quite ready and some parts overripe, but we should get this cut this week.”

Santiago winter wheat was still underway, with yields coming in between 9.6t and 11.1t/ha. There was also Robigus wheat left to cut.

“It’s an old variety with a small berry, but we find it reliable where some varieties can let you down on performance,” said Mr Keevil.

“We’re expecting to finish combining this week. As soon as everything’s off the ground we’ll be busy getting the 120ha of oilseed rape in ready for next year.”