Wet underfoot in Yorkshire - Farmers Weekly

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Wet underfoot in Yorkshire

Combining is back  underway for contractor Chris Smith at Easingwold in Yorkshire today (3 September),  despite being grounded for a few days.

“Yesterday was the first time the combine moved for a few days,” he said. “Ground conditions were pretty wet and I got stuck a few times but we’re combining alright today.”

Damp conditions were reflected in the grains, with moisture contents sitting at 18% when he started cutting this morning. However, the current crop of wheat he was in looked pleasing.

“We’re cutting wheat now, which is yielding 7.8t/ha off combine, but it is a second wheat,” he said.

Despite not being grown for a premium market, the sample was so good it was being sent for milling due to such good protein content.

“It’s a blooming good sample compared to some of the crops I’ve seen,” said Mr Smith. “Yield-wise it’s been better than expected but not as good as last year.”

Mr Smith expected to move into spring barley this afternoon, and hoped yields would mirror the winter barley, which did over 7.5t/ha.

However, it was winter barley straw which brought the biggest surprise.

“Last year the same acreage of winter barley yielded 49 Heston bales. This year it did 110, which just shows how much there was.

“I’ve never seen so much straw in my life. We couldn’t get it under the trailers.”

Oilseed rape harvest was now finished, with a yield of 2.5t/ha on one farm, and about 3.5t/ha on another.

“The rapeseed was, surprisingly, too dry. It came in at 5.8% moisture,” he said. “One customer was thinking of putting it through the washer.”

Wet underfoot in Yorkshire

Travelling is still difficult on land in East Yorkshire, but contractor Keith Snowball was on combining today (17 September).

“The combines are making a hell of a mess, but we’re getting through it,” he said.

He had 182ha (450 acres) of wheat to cut with three combines, and would soon also be into beans.

Most crops were still standing, but some varieties were badly sprouted, including Istabraq, Claire and Oakley.

Others, like Solstice, Humber and Zebedee had held up better, and Mr Snowball cut a field of Einstein yesterday which produced a perfect looking sample, he said.

“I think the yields are beyond peoples’ wildest dreams considering the rainfall and lack of sunshine. We’ve had quite a lot of 4t/ac crops, which is 1t/ac more than last year.”

He reckoned there was still 30% of the wheat to cut in the surrounding area.

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Solstice
Area: 26ha (64 acres)
Yield: >8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre)

Crop: Winter oats
Variety: Dalguise
Area: 28ha (68 acres)
Yield: >8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Pearl and Carat
Yield: 6.7t/ha (2.7t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Catana
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)

Variety: Grace
Yield: 2-3.5t/ha (0.8-1.4t/acre)


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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


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