Carat winter barley has provided some pleasing yields and reasonable quality for Henry Rawlins at Ablington Farm, near Salisbury in Wiltshire.

Having started combining on 4 July, the 40ha (100acres) came in at over 8t/ha (3.25-3.5t/acre), which was better than the usual 3t/acre, he said.

Secondary growth was a problem, although no pre-harvest desiccation was used, he said. “Where there wasn’t much regrowth, moisture wasn’t bad at 14.5%, but we did leave wheel marks with the combine, which is unusual for here.

“Bushel weights seem good and it’s provided a nice sample.”

All the barley would be used to feed the farm’s dairy and beef herds and the straw had already been baled, he added. “We got it in ok, but had to turn the odd patch,” he commented.

Mr Rawlins hoped to start the 60ha (150acres) of Excalibur, Lioness and Expert oilseed rape this weekend, although was hoping for an improvement in the weather. Everything had been desiccated by last weekend (7/8 July), he said.

The farm’s 121ha (300acres) of Hereward, Solstice and Alchemy winter wheat had changed colour a lot in the past week, but luckily had remained upright, apart from on odd overlaps, he said. “It may come ripe at the same time as the spring barley.”

  • Crop: Carat winter barley
  • Area: 40ha
  • Yield: over 8t/ha
  • Moisture: 14.5%
  • Quality: good bushel weight, nice sample

Harvest Highlights 2007 is sponsored by RAGT.