Stuart Baker finished harvest three weeks ago at Ivy House Farm, Woodbridge, Suffolk, and is delighted – if somewhat perplexed – with how it went.
“It was nice to finish so early, and yields were absolutely fantastic – we didn’t cut a single cereal crop below 10t/ha,” he said.
Cassia and Glacier winter barley yielded 10.18t/ha and 10.27t/ha, respectively, while oilseed rape averaged 4.56t/ha. “Our best bit did 4.9t and the worst was 4.12 – both of which were Avatar,” said Mr Baker.
“We also had Astrid, DO5 and Quartz – which was a complete disaster for everyone else around here, but did 4.5t/ha for us at 46.7% oil.”
Diego, grown as a second wheat, yielded 11.9-12.05t/ha, and 10.2t/ha as a continuous wheat. “We can’t complain at that.”
See also: Weather, work and machines – 10 photos that sum up harvest.
However, the first wheats – comprising Viscount, Kielder and Santiago – only ranged from 11.7-12.4t/ha.
“As ridiculous as it sounds, that’s a bit disappointing,” said Mr Baker. “Considering the second wheat did 11.9t, the first wheats should have done 1t/ha more than that, and they didn’t.”
He attributed that minor disappointment to lower bushel weights, with the Diego weighing at 82.8kg/hl, Viscount 81kg, Santiago 78kg and Kielder 75kg/hl.
“I think that’s what let the yield down, although my agronomist reckons they ran out of nitrogen.
“But we were cutting Cassia at 69kg/hl, and after two days of rain it was down at 63kg/hl – I don’t know where it goes but the rain makes a huge difference to the yields.”
Overall though, a wheat average of 11.3t/ha across the farm could hardly be sniffed at, he added. “It’s been a remarkable but weird harvest.”