Oilseed rape has yielded well J & J Haddingham’s Thwaite Hall Farm, Bungay, Norfolk, but the combine has been rained off today (27 July).
“We had a bit of drizzle last night, and it’s just damp and dull today, so I’m servicing the combine,” said Matt Haddingham.
“The crops really need a few days of sunshine and wind to dry out.”
So far Mr Haddingham had cut 90ha (222 acres) of Castille, Vision, Sesame and Grandia oilseed rape, with pleasing results.
“The 30ha (74 acres) of Grandia averaged 4.8t/ha (1.9t/acre), with a couple of fields doing 5t/ha (2t/acre),” he said.
“The Vision was close behind, with the Castille and Sesame at about 4.5t/ha (1.8t/acre). The Sesame has been a pain because it’s very tall and green, so it’s been difficult to cut.”
Mr Haddingham was employing a new combining tactic this year, using GPS on the combine to cut at a 30 degree angle across the tramlines.
“We direct drill everything and chop the straw – combining this way helps to spread the straw out more evenly.
“The crops also flow through the combine better, and we pick up the tramlines better, instead of losing plants in front of the header.”
After the remaining 40ha (100 acres) of oilseed rape, Mr Haddingham expected to be into Diego, Duxford and Grafton winter wheat in another week or 10 days.
“It looks rubbish; it went into such awful conditions in the autumn, we struggled to get it established. Then, with the dry spring it didn’t tiller and catch up.”
Crop: Oilseed rape
Area: 30ha (74 acres)
Yield: 4.8t/ha (1.9t/acre)
Yield: 4.7t/ha (1.9t/acre)
Varieties: Castille and Sesame
Yield: 4.5t/ha (1.8t/acre)