Carl Tuer started combining oilseed rape at Rock Farms, Alnwick, Northumberland, today (13 August), having just finished his winter barley.
“The rapeseed seems very good – if it’s not doing 5t/ha it’s not far off. And we’re not really behind a usual year up here – we’d normally start cutting rape about now.”
However, Cassata winter barley had been very variable, averaging 6.9t/ha on one farm and over 7.4t/ha at another.
“Climatically, the variation within just 10 miles has been unbelievable – one farm got the rain while the other didn’t.”
Although the Cassata should make the malting grade, Mr Tuer anticipated some penalties on bushel weights, which were on the light side.
“We’ve been sowing winter rape behind the winter barley, and have one more day before that will be drilled up.
“We were meant to get rain last night but didn’t – it would be good to finish tomorrow as there’s more rain forecast on Wednesday.”
Mr Tuer said his wheat crops looked abysmal, along with almost everyone else’s in the area.
“I think we’re in for some horrible shocks when we start harvesting the wheat – and anyone who says different probably hasn’t looked closely enough at it.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if a 7.4t/ha crop is a good crop this year - there are lots of blind sites and shrivelled grain, and we’ve got to be heading for half its usual potential.
“It’s a real shame, as three months ago the crops looked the best they ever have. But then if farming was easy, everyone would want to do it.”
Crop: Oilseed rape
Crop: Winter barley