Late-planted Westminster spring barley has performed exceptionally well at Hinxstone Farm, Benenden, Kent, despite being sown as an afterthought.

“We were meant to plant winter cereals but didn’t get them all drilled,” said Graham Westacott, who milks nearly 200 dairy cows at the farm. “We were going to be short of forage, so planted it on 5 May after slurrying, with a view to feeding it as wholecrop.”

However, the first 16ha yielded so well as a wholecrop that Mr Westacott left the remaining 4ha to combine – and got a surprising 7.4t/ha.

Tybalt spring wheat, sown after maize, also did well, yielding 6.8t/ha. “All the spring crops did well – but the winter wheat was very patchy.”

Half the Gravitas wheat yielded over 7.4t/ha, with the other half producing just 2.5t/ha, he said.

“Dalguise winter oats did alright, at 7.4t/ha”

Having finished harvesting combinable crops, Mr Westacott would soon be moving into maize harvest.

“The early sown varieties are about two weeks away, but don’t look as good as the later-sown crops.”


Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Westminster
Area: 4ha
Yield: 7.4t/ha


Crop: Spring wheat
Variety: Tybalt
Area: 73ha
Yield: 6.8t/ha


Crop: Winter oats
Variety: Dalguise
Area: 10ha
Yield: 7.4t/ha


Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Gravitas
Area: 10ha
Yield: 2.5-7.4t/ha