Harvest is once again a stop-start affair at Paul Bird’s Flashbrook Grange, Newport, Shropshire.


Showers continue to frustrate attempts at combining, and 4ha (10 acres) of winter barley straw cut three weeks ago is still on the ground.

“With the weather as it is, they just can’t get it.”

So far Mr Bird had finished his Saffron winter barley, which had yielded about average at 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

He was now two-thirds of the way through his oilseed rape, which had been very slow to ripen due to dull, damp weather following Roundup application.

However, rapeseed yields had been above average, with Astrid coming in at 4.9t/ha (2t/acre).

Gerald winter oats were 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) below average, and suffered from low bushelweights. “They were hopeless – the cold winter had a big effect, closely followed by the dry spring. It was a double whammy.”

Wheat looked variable, but was not far off ripening, said Mr Bird. “We would probably be into it if the weather was decent and we had finished the last 28ha (70 acres) of rape.”

However, later drilled wheat may be benefiting from the rain, and with prices looking considerably better, yields could afford to be slightly down, he added.


Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Astrid
Area: 53ha (130 acres)
Yield: 4.9t/ha (2t/acre)


Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Saffron
Yield: 7.4t/ha (3t/acre)


Crop: Winter oats
Variety: Gerald
Area: 24ha (60 acres)
Yield: 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) below average



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