Harvest is well underway at Sandon Lodge Farm, Chelmsford, Essex, where Richard Spackman has been combining oilseed rape and winter barley.


So far the 18ha (45 acres) of Cassia barley had yielded 7.25t/ha (2.9t/acre), despite having grown on very hot, gravelly land.

“That’s all sold and gone – we’re cultivating the stubble today (15 July) and it’s going over beautifully, but there’s a lot of green where it’s regrown, which made baling very difficult.”

Mr Spackman had also cut 200ha (500 acres) of Grandia, Dimension, Castille and Excalibur oilseed rape, with yields ranging from 1t/ha to 5t/ha (0.4-2t/acre), depending on the soil type.

“Anything on hot, sharp, gravelly land has just died off.”

Grandia and Dimension had yielded the best, with all varieties averaging 3.8-4.2t/ha (1.5-1.7t/acre).

Winter wheat was about 10 days away from ripening, and looked very variable, he added.

Before that would be another 93ha (230 acres) of oilseed rape and 60ha (150 acres) of winter barley to cut.


Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Cassia
Area: 18ha (45 acres)
Yield: 7.25t/ha (2.9t/acre)


Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Grandia, Dimension, Castille and Excalibur
Yield: 3.8-4.2t/ha (1.5-1.7t/acre).