Stephen Whitby has finished harvest, following an early start at Rowley Farm, Wexham, Slough, and is looking forward to the rainy weather expected over the next few days.
 
Combining started on 27 July and was finished last week (w/e 30 August).

“It’s been a good to average year for us,” said Mr Whitby. “Where the soils are lighter the crops have struggled, but in the heavier places everything has done very well.”

Gallant and Cordiale winter wheat yielded an average of 7.5t/ha, coming off from the beginning of harvest at 18% moisture. Bushel weight was pleasing at an average of 77-78kg/hl, and protein was also high.

“Last year Cordiale outperformed Gallant on quality and yield, but this year it’s the other way around,” he added. “The average yield could have been better, but there were a number of gaps in places from the wet start.”

Gerald winter oats replaced failed winter oilseed rape, yielding 6.2t/ha.

“We’re pleased with the oats as it was a very cheap input crop, which came off nice and dry with a lot of very good straw.”

The 49ha of Westminster spring barley was used as an alternative where Mr Whitby couldn’t drill winter wheat in the wet autumn.

“We reached yields around 6.2t/ha. Although it’s a crop we wouldn’t usually have, we’re very happy with how it’s performed,” he said.

With maize still in the ground and due to be harvested in three weeks, cultivating was well underway, with winter wheat drilling planned for 20 September.

“It’s been a good year for us and we didn’t need to put anything though the drier until the main part of harvest,” said Mr Whitby.

“The only problem is that everything is a bit too dry now, so we’ll be looking forward to the rain that’s forecast for tomorrow.”


Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Cordiale and Gallant
Area: 243ha
Yield: 7.5t/ha


Crop: Spring barley
Varieties: Westminster
Area: 49ha
Yield: 6.2t/ha


Crop: Winter oats
Varieties: Gerald
Yield: 6.2t/ha