Winter barley has performed much better than expected at Peter Francesconi’s Dean Farm, Ashford, Kent.
“We haven’t cut anything since Friday (15 July) – we’ve got 32ha (80 acres) of barley left to do, and that is not as good as the 51ha (125 acres) we’ve already cut.
“The best of it did over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), which is better than I’d ever dreamt.” Bushelweights in the Pearl were good at 64kg, he added.
“But on the poor ground we’ve got a lot of secondary growth where the tillers have come back to life after the rain.
“A lot of the wheat on poor ground looks terrible – and the oats have done the same, which is going to make life very awkward. We’ve already sprayed off the oats.”
Oilseed rape would be ready after the barley. “It is not that good – we had a lot of pigeon and pheasant damage.
“We planted it next to a big shoot, which is never a good idea.”
Mr Francesconi had been busy planting stubble turnips in the barley stubble to graze sheep later in the season. “They’ll be up in the day or two – the rain is always good for something.”
Crop: Winter barley
Area: 51ha (125 acres)
Yield: 7.4t/ha (3t/acre)